Monday, July 30, 2012

Mixed review for Sonoma County Fair

We went to the Sonoma County Fair this Sunday and I offer a mixed review. First, the positive:

‘Inspiration Stations’

pom pom attached to backpack
I made this pom pom, taught by Stefany
Perlman, during the Sonoma County Fair.
Sonoma County Fair offered fairgoers a chance to try something new with “Inspiration Stations” set up in its exhibit halls:
“We’re joining the growing interest in the Do-It-Yourself movement with a series of workshops designed to pique your interest in trying new things.”
According to its website, activities and presentations include letterpress printing, rug hooking, working with fused glass, fly tying and more.

Hands-on crafts and do-it-yourself greatly appeal to me, so we timed our visit to coincide with station hours.

In the Kraft Building, I listened for a time to Marilyn Engstrom discuss cosume-making techniques. Our group next made pom poms taught by Stefany Perlman in Finley Hall.

Hands-on crafts offered a unique and enjoyable dimension to our Sonoma County Fair experience.

The fair website displays a complete list of Inspiration Station activities. It cautions, “A few activities may require advance registration or a nominal materials fee.”

Still no refill stations

green Klean Kanteen
Sonoma County Fair
security has decided
Klean Kanteens
are weapons. Seriously?
Image: Klean Kanteen

The negative that we encountered (and I wrote about) last year -- no water bottle refill stations at the Sonoma County Fair -- was compounded this year by our being denied entry with our stainless steel Klean Kanteens.

Apparently security has decided these bottles are potential “weapons.”

Fortunately we had a plastic bottle back in the car -- because we weren’t about to finance the grossly wasteful, rip-off, disposable water bottle concession.

And once again, on fairgrounds, there were no water refill stations.

“Sustainable Sonoma” was not featured again this year, but in its place was an exhibit titled “Greentivities.” It would have been a logical place to locate a refill station.

Among vendors and exhibits, we encountered “Rethink Your Drink,” staffed by Network for a Healthy California's Northcoast Region.

In addition to offering samples of flavored waters, a natural for this group would have been to provide a water bottle refill station.

Another logical place for a bottle refill station would have been the Take It From the Tap! display by the City of Santa Rosa in the commercial exhibitors hall.

Suffice to say, we are deeply disappointed at the absence of water bottle refill stations.

The fact that for two years, the Sonoma County Fair has failed to offer water refills while promoting sustainability and environmentalism, makes a mockery of these values.


  1. I really love the Sonoma County fair! I was just online looking at sonoma county vacation rentals because me and my wife love it there, but haven't been in a while. That's how I came across your blog, I'm definitely going to share this with my wife,thank you for posting Cynthia!

    1. If you go, be sure to check the flower show. It has a "Ports of Call" theme this year, so the entries re-create exotic cruise destinations.


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