For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 19, 2021
Drive-thru options in summer-fall 2020 help Cultural Services take top annual honors
San Rafael, CA – The 2020 Marin County Virtual Fair, hosted online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, swept the competition with 12 awards recently during the Western Fairs Association (WFA) convention. The recognition was welcomed by the County of Marin’s Cultural Services Department, which had switch gears quickly to preserve its tradition of providing family fun for thousands of revelers each summer.
The photo 'Dinosaurs at Night' from 2020 Marin County Virtual Fair won the Judges' Choice Award from the Western Fairs Association.“When the pandemic forced us to cancel our beloved fair last summer, we had to think of a safe alternative people could enjoy from home,” said Gabriella C. Calicchio, Director of Cultural Services. “A virtual fair seemed like the perfect way to provide at-home entertainment and keep community as Marin sheltered-in-place. We also wanted to support our community with drive-in and drive-thru events throughout the summer and fall to offer safe and fun options for entertainment.”
The WFA, a 150-member trade association representing fairs in the western United States and Canada, recognizes excellence in the fair industry at its convention and provides a forum for fairs to share successful ideas and programs.
The 2020 Marin County Virtual Fair and Drive-Thru events received nine First Place awards, three Second Place awards and one Judges’ Choice award. Here is a review of the award-winning entries:
“Give It Your Best Shot” Photograph – Drive-Thru Food & Entertainment Events
Winner: Dinosaurs at Night
Virtual Fairs – 2020 Virtual Marin County Fair
Virtual Online Contests (other than during the fair) – Virtual Halloween
Drive-Thru Food Events – Summer Drive-Thru Fair Food Event
Community Outreach – Drive-In High School Graduations
“Give It Your Best Shot” Photograph – Virtual Fairs
Winner: Cat and Flamingos
“Give It Your Best Shot” Photograph – Virtual Contests (not during fair)
Winner: Costume Contest – Votes for Women
“Give It Your Best Shot” Photograph – Drive Thru Food & Entertainment Events
Winner: Dinosaurs at Night
Winner: Jumbo Dog
“Give It Your Best Shot” Photograph – Community Outreach & Emergency Response Venues
Winner: Drive-In High School Graduation
Winner: Toilet Paper Cake
Winner: Halloween Food – Mummy Quesadilla
Winner: Sewer Band performance Mummy Clarinet
The virtual fair’s Facebook analytics show that the online contents reached 10,646 unique visitors. Both the fair’s Facebook and Instagram saw dramatic increases during the virtual fair. The Facebook account saw 1,303 new followers and Instagram saw 718 new followers.
“I think that proves that even though there wasn’t a physical fair last year, the fair staff was able to provide a sense of community during this difficult time,” Calicchio said.
Gabriella C. CalicchioDirectorDepartment of Cultural Services
Marin Center10 Avenue of the FlagsSan Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6400Email: Gabriella C. CalicchioCultural Services Website