The 66th annual Marin County Fair, which serves as the beginning of a nearly year-long celebration of the iconic bridge’s birthday, unveiled its lineup of entertainment this week for the event, which runs from June 30 to July 4.
The lineup includes a host of talented acts with a little something for every musical taste, from R&B legends like the Temptations and the Pointer Sisters to reggae legend Toots & the Maytals and the Latin-flavored sonic stew of Ozomatli. It also features classic rock group Three Dog Night, New Orleans stalwarts the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and 7 Walkers, which features former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman.
"I think it's one of our best lineups ever," said Jim Farley, the director of the county fair. "When you look at Ozomatli, the Temptations, the Pointer Sisters and Toots and the Maytals, this is a lineup where people want to party and get up and dance. I'm very jazzed about this lineup. These are energetic, dynamite performers who get people up and moving."
As usual, the county fair goes well beyond music, with the vaunted Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats, more than two dozen carnival rides, more than 12,000 exhibitors, barnyard animals and fireworks each night. A Ben & Jerry’s-sponsored, solar-powered stage promises to draw from popular singing and dancing reality shows for Star Search-inspired competitions.
While the entertainment lineup boasts a number of big-name acts, county officials said the centerpiece of the fair is the Golden Gate Bridge itself. The bridge turns 75 on May 27, 2012, and the fair serves as the first public event to mark the occasion.
The Golden Gate Pavilion, a 6,000-square-foot area chock full of exhibits and photographs, seeks to educate and inform visitors about the landmark bridge’s history and the current, multi-million dollar earthquake retrofit taking place on it now.
Visitors enter the pavilion via a 48-foot-long model of the bridge itself. The photos chronicle the original construction that began in 1933 to the bridge’s opening in May 1937. Bridge workers will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer questions about how the bridge is maintained throughout the year, Farley said.
"The Golden Gate Bridge workers are rock stars themselves," he said. "Over 10 million people visit the bridge every year and these are the people behid the scenes maintaining this icon."
The 411: The county fair kicks off Thursday, June 30 and runs through Monday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day at the Marin Center in San Rafael. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older and children 4 to 12 and free for children under 4 years old. Parking is $6 in all lots. Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster.com or at the Marin Center Box Office (10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael) weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 415.499.6800 for more info or visit the fair's website Bike valet parking is available at the Main Gate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Music and entertainment lineup:
Thursday, June 30, 7:30pm – Three Dog Night (rock)
Friday, July 1, 7:30pm – Toots & the Maytals (reggae)
Saturday, July 2, 3pm – 7 Walkers (jam rock)
Saturday, July 2, 7:30pm – Ozomatli (Latin, hip hop)
Sunday, July 3, 2pm – U.S. Air Force Concert Band of the Golden West (jazz, patriotic)
Sunday, July 3, 7:30pm – The Pointer Sisters (R&B, disco)
Monday, July 4, 2 and 4pm – Preservation Hall Jazz Band (New Orleans jazz)
Monday, July 4, 7:30pm – The Temptations (R&B, soul)