Fair to showcase daily flavor

Performing her Latino music at a Peninsula community event devoted entirely to celebrating Spanish culture didn’t seem like a possibility while Carmen Milagro was growing up in South San Francisco.

Milagro and her self-titled band will get that chance when they perform Aug. 19 for the county fair theme day, Sprint Dia de la Feria Preciosa (Day of the Precious Fair). The event features plenty of Hispanic-themed entertainment, information booths and food and is usually the fair’s most popular day.

“I don’t recall growing up here and having our Latino heritage be celebrated like this,” Milagro said. “When people of all cultures celebrate together, that’s when we really get to see how similar we all are.”

Seniors also have a day designed just for them on Aug. 14 when guests 62 years and older get free admission.

Senior Day will be filled with traditional cooking, music and performers. The day’s main attraction should be the 22nd annual My Fair Lady Pageant, a beauty contest for elderly women that typically draws huge crowds for such categories as “Best Wheelchair Design.”

Fierce competition has emerged amongst a handful of San Mateo County nursing homes that bring their residents to compete in the pageant every year. Brookside Skilled Nursing Hospital Activities Director Myla Alimario has been bringing about 30 residents to Senior Day for the past six years — and she’s serious about taking home the pageant crown for this year’s Brookside participant, Dorothy Denius.

“(The residents) look forward to it every year — the pageant is a big thing for them,” Alimario said. “They all support the candidate who is participating, and it’s a big self-esteem builder for that resident. Even at her age she can participate in that.”

The fair will also feature the popular Kid’s Day on Aug. 16, when admission is free for anyone younger than 12 years old. A daylong lineup of kids’ entertainment will be highlighted by three performances per day from the Hi-5 group, which has become a huge success on Discovery Kids’ “Ready Set Learn” TV show.

The fair’s opening day will also feature $2 admission for everyone. A skydiving show will take place with landing on the fairgrounds.

Admission will be free before 3 p.m. on Aug. 13.

Visitors can also get into Bay Meadows Race Track for free with a fair ticket any day.


Which theme day strikes you as the most appealing?

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