County of Marin - Press Releases - County Fair

For Immediate Release
August 01, 2013

Marin County Fair’s Education Theme Gets an A+

Record 7,116 people participated in competitive exhibits

Officials from the Marin County Fair are wrapping up their review and coming to the conclusion that the education-themed fair, which ran July 3-7 this year, was another amazing success.

Jim Farley, director of the County’s Department of Cultural and Visitor Services, said entries into the competitive exhibits achieved an all-time high due in part to the support of the Marin County Office of Education and the dedication of exhibits supervisor, Charlie Barboni.  Complete results are on the Marin County Fair website under“competitive exhibits.”

“I am elated because exhibits are the heart and soul of this community-centric county fair,” Farley said.  “We want to be the go-to Marin County showcase of creativity and imagination for local residents."

This year, a record 7,116 participants entered the competitive exhibits, and overall entries totaled 13,620. In 2012 there were 7,054 competitive participants and 13,501 entries.

On March 12, 2014, the Marin County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation that added a fourth “E” — education — to their guiding goals of environment, economy and equity. The commitment followed a board pledge in December 2012 to ensure opportunities for all children in Marin to have healthy successful lives.

The “Fourth E” was prominently displayed throughout the fair over the July 4th weekend. Families from all over Marin and beyond celebrated the fair’s Schools Rule! theme with arts, culture, music and an array of events that showcased Marin’s outstanding educational community. Farley said the collaboration between the fair, the Marin County Office of Education and the nonprofit SchoolsRule Marin foundation celebrated teachers and students in many ways. The Enchanted Circus, an event held the evening before the fair opened, raised significant awareness and funds for SchoolsRule Marin.

The most popular fair exhibits were related to education. In the expansive Marinovators were the Virtual Learning Center, with a fun dance game; The Viper, a simulator built by San Rafael high-school students; the 3-D printer; and the world’s largest pop-up art book (submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records), curated by Youth In Arts. The One-Room Schoolhouse, the Wright Place and KIDS Talks were also popular features of that exhibition. Thousands youngsters assembled solar race cars, built a computer, constructed a working robot, and learned about healthy foods and lifestyle choices at the Make Your World Pavilion.

New educational technology contests were a winner with fairgoers, Farley said. In the first year of the Marin QuickPics contest, 150 images were taken at the fair and entered and posted on Instagram. Also, 18 local robotics teams entered remote-controlled mechanical devices in the new Robotics 101. More than 300 images were entered and displayed in the new Mobilography exhibit — images that were taken on smart phones prior to the fair. In addition, 155 student videos were entered and the 10 award-winning videos were screened during the fair.

Already, fair staff is turning its attention to the 2014 fair, set to run July 2-6. To mark the 73rd annual event, organizers plan to publish an e-book chronicling the exciting and memorable history of the award-winning fair, which dates to 1925. Residents are invited and encouraged to share images, videos and stories about attending the fair through the years in Novato (1925-28), the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross (1946-1971) and the Marin County Fairgrounds at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael (1972-present).  The publication will be overseen by Marin writer and historian Dewey Livingston.

To share items for the e-book, contact Jim Farley at or mail the Marin County Department of Cultural and Visitor Services at 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 94903. For more information, call 415-473-6400.


Gabriella C. Calicchio
Department of Cultural Services

Marin Center
10 Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6400
Email: Gabriella C. Calicchio
Cultural Services Website