It’s not fair!

Every single year, the Dixon May Fair, the Whole Earth Festival and the Sacramento County Fair happen on the same weekend. How is a fun-loving fair-goer supposed to choose?

The Dixon May Fair has Willie Nelson (on Thursday night, with Jackie Greene opening) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (on Friday night). It’s also steeped in time-tested fair staples like hog-calling contests, hypnotists, wine tasting, trick horse riders and a midway of carnival rides guaranteed to make you second-guess the wisdom of eating funnel cakes for dinner. The fair also has resurrected its nightly demolition derby after a mysterious decade-long absence. Admission to the fair is $10 for adults and $6 for children Thursday through Sunday at 655 South First Street in Dixon. Visit for further details.

Of course, if you prefer organic snacks to deep-fried Twinkies, the Whole Earth Festival has a burrito with your name on it. The 36th annual celebration of art, music, vegetarian food, environmental sustainability and vigorous drum circles will take over the UC Davis campus Friday through Sunday. Live music acts like Universal Language, Clan Dyken, Diane Patterson and the Mad Cow String Band will have many pairs of Birkenstock sandals dancing across the lawn. Admission is free, and more information is available at

This year’s Sacramento County Fair promises “Springtime Fun for Everyone.” With free admission to Cal Expo Thursday through Sunday, you can afford to buy the $18 wristband for unlimited carnival rides. (Whether your stomach can afford it is another issue.) The Sacramento County Fair offers a classic-car show, a demolition derby, livestock contests, art exhibits and all the greasy food and Ferris wheels you’d expect. Bring your camera along and enter your pictures in the after-fair photo contest. Visit for more information.

Of course, whichever fair you choose is only practice for the big grandaddy of them all. The 152nd California State Fair opens August 12.