Alameda County Agricultural Fair Association
As a year-round event center, Alameda County Agricultural Fair Association (ACAFA), also known as the Alameda County Fairgrounds, hosts more than 300 events every year. The ACAFA also operates the Fairpark RV Campground, Off-Track Betting Satellite, and an annual Fair with nearly a half million guests.
The Alameda County Fair made its debut in Pleasanton in 1912 and has continued as a celebration of the heritage and diversity of the community for more than 100 years. It is ranked among the top 50 Fairs in the US and strives to fulfill its mission – assure the long-term viability of the grounds, present an exceptional annual Fair that celebrates the heritage and diversity of Alameda County, and provide year-round opportunities for facility usage.
Alameda County Fairgrounds has a rich history dating back 165 years. Did you know the Fairgrounds include:
- A historic race track, celebrating its 165th anniversary this year. It is the oldest, one-mile dirt track in America. Built-in 1858 by the Bernal family, the track originally served as a winter horse training facility. Over the years, some of California’s greatest racehorses, including the legendary Seabiscuit, were known to have trained at the property.
- Live horse racing – during the Fair, live horse race meets return and the Stella Artois Grandstand offers open seating as well as Box Seats for purchase (4-, 6-, or 8-person box seats). You can also purchase seats at the Trackside Terrace outdoor patio and Sky Lounge; both offer a gourmet buffet and no-host bar.
- The satellite wagering facility, Pleasanton Off-Track Betting(OTB), hosts the Turf Club Café inside that offers Happy Hour a few days a week.
- Blue Devils Bingo hosts games every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at OTB.
- With big Lottery tickets making the news lately, did you know you can play all of the CA Lottery games at the Fairgrounds? Inside OTB, you can play to your heart’s delight.
- Two RV parks (North and South) that hold up to 166 RVs. Both parks offer reservations for one RV and one vehicle, includes WiFi, and water, sewer, and electrical hookups.
- Located at North RV Fairpark, the general store sells convenience foods and sundries.
- Propane and other supplies are sold on-site at Mike Nohr’s RV Parts & Service shop.
- The Pleasanton Equestrian Center (PEC) includes 600 permanent horse stalls, three show arenas, two round pens, and a full jump set. Various equestrian events happen at PEC throughout the year such as Gymkhana Playdates and the Golden Gate Arabian Show.
- Hungry for breakfast? Visit the Stable Café situated right in front of the horse stables. Open 6 – 11 am Wednesday through Sunday and 4 – 6 pm on Thursdays.
- A nine-hole public golf course and a driving range. To visit Pleasanton Golf Course, which is in the center of the race track, enter the Yellow Gate off Pleasanton Ave and drive through a tunnel – don’t forget to honk your horn.
- And a Driving Range off of Gate 12 on Valley Ave.
- A model train display all year long. The Alameda County Central Railroad Society has a model train display with two layouts (HO and O scale).
- An American Farm Tractor Museum is open to guests every day of the Fair.
- Plans for a Future High Tech Farm. The Alameda County Fair Foundation is raising funds to build The Farm on the Fairgrounds to teach students the importance of farming and how technology is making the industry successful.
- The Marissa Hunt Agricultural Education Center, an 8,000 square-foot facility located on Fairgrounds property, welcomes Alameda County FFA and 4-H Club members who want to raise animals for the Fair’s Junior Livestock Show, but lack a place to do it.
- A historic home. The Heathcote-MacKenzie House, also known as The Heritage House or Haggerty House, was built on the site of the Fairgrounds around 1905, to host wealthy harness racers from Canada who wintered their horses in Pleasanton. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beautiful craftsman-style home that currently houses the offices of District 1 Alameda County Supervisor.
All this, and did you know the Association is completely self-supporting and receives no funding from tax revenue? The property is managed by a non-profit. Proceeds are used each year to put on the next Fair.
Next time you attend an event at the Fairgrounds, or even the annual summer Fair, remember you are part of deep history and we celebrate you!
Now you know!