The return of the Alameda County Fair marks more than the reopening of a shuttered entertainment center. Throughout the pandemic, the Alameda County Fairgrounds team pulled the plug on over 300 regular events to respond to the unique emergencies of 2020. From COVID-19 testing and feeding hungry families to giving Cal Fire a command center during the historic SCU Lightning Complex fires and sheltering displaced animals, the Fairgrounds showed up for the community.

It is for these efforts and more that Visit Tri-Valley recognized the Fairgrounds team with the “Spirit of Hospitality” award. They are more than deserving. While accepting the award, Fairgrounds CEO Jerome Hoban gave credit to Angel Moore, Fairgrounds vice president of business and development, whose motto during the pandemic was “Just say yes — say yes to everything we can to support everyone we can.”

This October, the Fairgrounds will once again come alive with lights, sounds and the familiar scents of our favorite fair foods. We welcome its return. And we thank the staff and leadership who not only made sacrifices during a dark time, but also worked to bring more light to others.