Contra Costa County Fair opens for 1st time since COVID pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Contra Costa County Fair in Antioch opened Thursday for the first time since the pandemic hit.

"It is wonderful to be back. After two years of not having the fair, we are so excited to be back and so excited to have the community come back and join us on our grounds for a great fair," said Joe Brengle, CEO of the Contra Costa County Fair.

Brengle says when you're in the business of creating fun, it is pretty awful to be shut down.

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"It's really hard. It's a little depressing actually, a little hard to get used to, to not be putting on events. I have been in the industry for over 30 years and that's all I have done is put on events. To have two years where we didn't do anything was a little sad. We are very excited to be back and able to share that joy with the public."

One COVID-related challenge he faced was staffing the fair. They were not able to find as many workers as they have in the past.

"Staffing is an issue everywhere. You may have longer lines than normal, but that's OK. People are still eager to get in and I think they will still wait in those lines to join us and have some fun."

Fun includes carnival rides, games, lots of fried food, shows, concerts and the showing of animals. And, the CEO says, the people.

"To me, the fair is like this big family reunion and I am excited after two years of not having it to have all those people - the public, the food vendors, the carnival...all back for my annual family reunion. So that's my excitement," Brengle says.

The fair is open 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday May 12 through Sunday May 15. It is located at West 10th Street and O Street in Antioch.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids and seniors. A carnival ride wristband costs $35.

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