Best Community Fairs and Festivals

Kids Enjoying a Tea Cup Ride at the Fair

These community fairs, festivals and events  were voted the Bay Area’s 2021 Best of the Best by Bay Area Parent readers. Read the full list of winners here.

San Francisco & Marin

Gold: Marin County Fair. Features farm animals, carnival rides, live entertainment and more. 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael. 415-499-6400.

Silver: A Christmas Carol at the American Conservatory Theater. 415 Geary St. and 1127 Market St., San Francisco. 415-749-2228.

Bronze: Shakespeare in Park. San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Performs in parks all over the Bay Area. 415-558-0888.

Silicon Valley

Gold: Gilroy Garlic Festival. A Bay Area tradition with everything from garlic fries to garlic ice cream. P.O. Box 2311, Gilroy. 408-842-1625.

Silver: Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival. Memorial Park, 21255 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino. 408-252-2303.

Bronze: Christmas in the Park. Downtown San Jose. 408-809-9627.

East Bay

Gold: Alameda County Fair. From rides and animals to fair food and live entertainment, the Alameda County Fair is a tradition for many East Bay families. Taking place this year Oct. 22-31. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. 925-426-7600.

Silver: Ardenwood Historic Farm Harvest Festival. 34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont. 510-544-2797.

Bronze: Castro Valley Fall Festival. Castro Valley Boulevard between Redwood Road and Santa Maria Avenue, Castro Valley.

Bronze: Oakland First Fridays. Telegraph Avenue, Oakland.


Gold: San Carlos Art and Wine Faire. This event features artists, food, drinks, entertainment and a classic car show. The 2021 event has been canceled but it’s scheduled to be back Oct. 8 and 9, 2022. 600 Laurel St., San Carlos.

Silver: Redwood City Lunar New Year Celebration. Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. 650-780-7000.

Bronze: Belmont Greek Festival. 900 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont. 650-591-4447.

Bronze: Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. The 2021 event has been cancelled. Main Street, Half Moon Bay. 650-726-3491.