The Alameda County Fair ends its three-week run in Pleasanton today, closing with feature attractions such as the last show of the Big O Tires Concert Series, carnival rides, classic fair food, the Demolition Derby, the Red, White and Brewfest, Youth Livestock Auction and -- one of Pleasanton's favorite summertime events -- the Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.
At 4 p.m. today, the Tribute to America's Fallen Foundation will hold a ceremony where it will give plaques to parents, family members And friends of fallen U.S. soldiers to Recognize the sacrifices they made.
"We must never forget that freedom comes with a high price,"
Tribute to America's Fallen Foundation president and founder Sam Nicoara said.
The ceremony will include the release of 50 doves and the display of a tribute wall where fallen soldiers from The Gulf War, Iraq War and Afghanistan War are remembered with a three and a half inch gold star.
These are also the busiest days of the fair, according to Angel Moore, marketing and communications manager for the Alameda County Fair.
"The energy is so much fun because there are so many people," Moore said. "It's a really vibrant weekend for us. We get about 50,000 people coming through each day."
Moore said she knows of families who have come to the fair each Fourth of July for almost 60 years, and she sees how much of a tradition it is for many people. The fireworks are, in her opinion, what really brings everyone together during the holiday weekend.
"It culminates the end of everything that we do here, and it's such a great way for people to celebrate," she added. "We are proud to be able to offer such a great show to our community."
The fireworks show, which can be seen in many parts of Pleasanton, is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and will be set to music performed by the Oakland Symphony.
Fair officials recommend viewing the show from the grandstands, but Moore, who has worked at the fair for over a decade, knows location might not matter so much when viewing the colorfully lit Pleasanton sky for Independence Day.
"We know that even if families can't make it to the fair, they're watching the fireworks from wherever they are," she said.
To help alleviate fireworks-related traffic concerns in the area, officials will implement street and freeway exit closures and ban parking in nearby neighborhoods. Traffic control will be in effect after the show, directing drivers to freeways using specific routes.
Although the Fireworks Spectacular is one of the most anticipated events, there are plenty of other things to look forward in this final day at the fair.
Music lovers can enjoy the Red, White and Blues Festival tonight. Children can join in the fun in Kid's Park, where they can go on rides and play games without some of the chaos found in the more-crowded Midway.
Pokey Little Puppy and Curious George will be hosting Storyville at Kid's Park, keeping little ones entertained with games and story-time at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and magician Frank Thurston presents family-friendly magic shows that run every hour and a half throughout the day.
Not only can kids have fun, but they can also learn while doing so, according to Moore, who said the fair strives to educate guests while providing an enjoyable experience.
"We try to create programs that promote fun and engagement for kids; so much that they don't even realize they're learning," she said. "It's important being able to educate people of all ages on all different kinds of agriculture and sustainable living, too."
The fair can also be a great place to expand your taste palate by indulging in classic, deep-friend favorites or sampling tasty new additions like the Elvis burger and churro sandwich. People 21 and older can wash their food down by stopping at the Red, White and Brewfest.
While letting the food settle, fair-goers can head over to the Adventure Park to experience an old-time country fair fee, by visiting The Great American Petting Zoo and Brad's World of Reptiles or cheering on the Alaskan piglets as they race to the finish line.
While in that corner of the fair, make sure to see the livestock exhibits and learn what it takes to raise a cow, sheep, pig or goat for auction. It's a detailed, year-long process that involves training, competitions and numerous weigh-ins.
Delve deep into Chinese heritage and watch the Chinese Acrobats of Hebei as they perform feats of balance, agility and motor coordination on the Agventure Park Stage. Shows run throughout the afternoon and early evening.
Shopping enthusiasts can take a gander at the numerous vendors scattered throughout the fair, ranging from home goods, clothes, food and other items. While exploring, don't forget to also check out the array of exhibits including fine arts, handcrafts, culinary arts, wine and hobbies.
A day at the fair might not be complete without watching a few horse races at the oldest mile-long racetrack in the United States. Races.
The final day of the fair runs through 11 p.m. when the 2016 Alameda County Fair closes.
For a full event schedule and other information, visit annual.alamedacountyfair.com/