This year’s all-outdoor Marin County Fair returns after a two-year hiatus, hence the fitting theme “So Happy Together!” The all-day fete takes place from 11 am to 11 pm Thursday through Monday at the fairgrounds at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael.
Round up the squad and check out the daily lineup of live music and the jugglers, unicyclists and stilt walkers roaming the grounds, take a spin on the carnival rides, visit the agricultural exhibits, global marketplace, interactive art experiences and barnyard animals, and throw out a blanket for the nightly fireworks display over Lagoon Park.
Naturally, there’s all kinds of food to please a broad variety of cravings. This includes a few new vendors like San Rafael’s Big Jim’s BBQ that’s serving hickory-smoked pulled pork, oak-smoked beef brisket and grilled chicken parmigiana sandwiches; San Francisco’s Guma Spicy Pies filled with beef, chicken, crab, vegetables or lamb; and Khoom Lanna Thai Food from Santa Rosa that’s preparing crispy spring rolls, papaya salad, barbecued chicken, pad Thai, mango rice and curry dishes.
Savor tastes from around the globe — Greek gyros and salad, Peruvian tapas and ceviche, Guatemalan tacos, Mexican burritos, nachos and quesadillas, and Salvadorian pupusas, tortas, yuca con chicharron and empanadas.
You’ll also find the ubiquitous summertime hamburgers, corn dogs, Philly cheesesteaks, sausage sandwiches, smoked jumbo turkey legs, giant onion rings and all kinds of fries, including lobster, as well as the slightly more-refined chicken breast sandwich with apple and brie, and longtime fair favorites like coconut shrimp and sweet and savory crepes.
Or skip the main meal and snack on an endless selection of treats — cotton candy, caramel corn, churros (plain, stuffed, ice cream sandwiched or sundaes), hand-scooped ice cream, banana splits, shaved ice, funnel cakes, milkshakes, smoothies, slushies and hot or frozen mochas.
Beverages include fresh fruit juices, horchata, beer and wine.
Believe it or not, that’s not all. See the full list of food, drink and retail vendors and a location map at fair.marincounty.org/2022, where you can also view the music lineup, events and attractions and purchase general admission tickets ($ 20 until Thursday or $ 25 at the venue) and headline concert tickets ($ 60, which includes entry to the fair).
If farmers market provisioning for your holiday weekend barbecue is planned, please note that this week’s Thursday and Sunday Marin Farmers Markets at the Civic Center in San Rafael are temporarily moving to accommodate the Marin County Fair.
The 8 am to 1 pm June 30 and July 3 markets will be in the Northgate Mall II parking lot in front of the entrance to the movie theater at 5800 Northgate Drive in Terra Linda. For more information, go to agriculturalinstitute.org.
Tradition carries forth with Americana at its best at the annual Corte Madera-Larkspur Fourth of July Parade and Festival.
The merriment begins at Larkspur’s American Legion Post 313, where the parking lot transitions to a dining room for the 70th annual pancake, sausage, coffee and juice breakfast. For those wanting to get the party started early, the Post is shaking up its famous gin fizzes following their 1920s traditional recipe ($ 5).
Get your holiday breakfast at 500 Magnolia Ave. at Ward Street in downtown Larkspur from 8 to 11 am ($ 10 adults, $ 5 children). Proceeds benefit the Post 313 and Boy Scouts Troop 43. For more information, call 415-924-6283 or go to americanlegion313.org.
Follow the morning meal with the “We’re Back” themed parade that starts its energy-rousing procession of classic cars, marching bands, festive floats and more at 10:30 am at Redwood High School 395 Doherty Drive in Larkspur and proceeds through downtown to the Corte Madera Town Center.
The patriotic party begins at 9 am and ends at 5 pm at the Corte Madera Town Park with arts and crafts, children’s activities and live music by Mercy & the Heartbeats.
Refresh with a plentiful assortment of food options. World Wrapps in Corte Madera will be there with Korean steak, tikka masala and Thai chicken wraps, strawberry lemonade and pineapple mint aqua fresca. Pig in a Pickle, also in the Town Center, will be in Stefano’s has pizza slices and steak or chicken on a stick and for dessert, the Boy Scouts are scooping Lappert’s Ice Cream.
Corte Madera Town Park is at 498 Tamalpais Drive. For additional details, go to cortemadera.org.
Start the day in an all-American way with eggs, pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee at the 68th annual Buckaroo Breakfast from 7 to 10 am July 4 in downtown Novato (suggested donation $ 7 adults, $ 5 children) hosted by the Presbyterian Church of Novato. Proceeds support the Novato Youth Center.
Breakfast is served in the Redwood Credit Union parking lot at 1010 Grant Ave. in Novato. For additional information, visit pcnovato.org.
Leanne Battelle is a freelance food writer and restaurant columnist. Email her at email@example.com with news and recommendations and follow on Instagram @therealdealmarin for more on local food and updates on the launch of The Real Deal Marin restaurant guide.