Hundreds turned out along Main Street in downtown Pleasanton Saturday to watch the Alameda County Fair parade marking the first weekend of this year's fair.
Marching bands, floats and plenty of politicians filled the parade that went from the Amador Valley High School parking lot south to Angela Street where it turned toward its Fairgrounds destination.
A highlight of the parade was the Balloon Platoon, a long-time favorite of Tri-Valley parades that is comprised of men from the Centerpointe Presbyterian Church men's club.
Motorcycle police from Pleasanton, firefighters in their trucks from the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and the Alameda County sheriff's posse on horseback were in the parade, which also included the color guard from the local posts of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Also in the parade were Congressman Pete Stark and his challenger in the November election, Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell; Alameda County supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty, State Sen. Ellen Corbett; State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, and three members of the Pleasanton City Council: Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Cindy McGovern and Jerry Thorne.
Thanks to underwriting by the TV30 Foundation, telecasts of the parade are being broadcast today at 9 p.m., Tuesday, 2 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 p.m.; Thursday at noon and 11 p.m., and Friday at 7 p.m.
The fair reported record high attendance last Wednesday, its opening day, with 30,692 revelers pouring onto the fairgrounds to enjoy new rides, activities and special discounts. It was the highest opening day head count since record-keeping began according to organizers of the 17-day fair that runs through Sunday July 8.
With a massive land base of 267 acres, making this one of the largest fairs in California, the 100th year celebration is by itself a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"Centennial celebrations of this magnitude are rare," said April Mitchell, the Fair's sales and marketing Manager." We know how special it is and we are thrilled that fair-goers feel the same way. We invite everyone to come out, share in the fun and make lasting memories here at the Fair."
This year's special fair festivities include $1 admission and $1 rides on the first day of the Fair, and a kissing contest on June 24 where couples must kiss for 100 consecutive seconds and then eat cotton candy placed between their mouths.
A new log ride, the White Water Flume, is being introduced to the Fair this summer, expected to be popular on hot days for those who don't mind a little splash.
Concerts this summer include, among others, Salt-N-Pepa on June 24; Jars of Clay, June 27; Hoobastank, July 6; and Kellie Pickler, July 8.
For more information, visit www.alamedacountyfair.com or call 426-7600