SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Complaints are coming in about one of the county exhibits at this year’s California State Fair.
Sacramento’s display is being called “disappointing and a lot worse.” Some people are saying it would have been better to have nothing at all.
The displays are a state fair tradition. Some visitors say it’s the first place they go each year. Their purpose is to highlight what each of the state’s 58 counties has to offer, like San Joaquin County, which won Best of Show this year.
“You can live in California and not know California, and this allows you to get as much information in one place,” said Linda Ruth Spiller with the San Joaquin County Visitor’s Bureau.
Swipe through some of the county displays below.
Each exhibit is judged on factors such as artistic appeal, use of special effects, and design and craftsmanship. There are more than a dozen awards and $30,000 in prize money at stake. The results are in, and Sacramento was shut out.
“It’s kind of bare, not a whole lot going on, it kind of looks like an afterthought,” said fairgoer Caz Pierantoni.
Sacramento County is squeezed in between the large displays of Solano and Sierra Counties. If you blink, you might miss it. The flat panel features an aerial photo of Sacramento and an empty floor.
“I was disappointed, I would have volunteered to help if I would have known they needed help,” said Lorraine Robinson.
So who’s responsible for creating the county displays? It’s Visit Sacramento, the organization that runs the convention and visitor’s bureau. They said the idea was to create a spot with an oversized postcard where people could take a selfie.
Past year’s exhibits have featured a giant fork and food truck theme to show off Sacramento’s farm to fork motto. But this year, many people aren’t satisfied.
“This is kind of what the state fair is, you’re supposed to show pride in your county, put together a good presentation and I just see less of it every year,” Pierantoni said.
Only 17 counties entered exhibits at the State Fair this year.