Letter to Editor: San Mateo County Fair Needs Improvements for 2024

South San Francisco, CA June 9, 2024 by Chef Ava Marie RomanoA typewriter and a text beside it, “Letters to the Editor” (300x158)

Culinary Arts

I had the honor to be a headliner at the San Mateo County Fair Culinary Arts Department vegan cooking demo this past weekend and here are my thoughts behind the scenes.
When I went to do a kitchen inspection on June 1st they had an induction burner, pots, pans, and basic equipment. I know our money’s tight, but as a daughter of a former planning commissioner with 13 years of service, this is not ok as a local celebrity chef myself.
Then Walter explained that this is what we have and I know but he told us we had to adapt. It was challenging. I knew I had a 1-hour slot due to a daily eating contest.
I think for 2024 get rid of the daily eating competitions except for hot dogs and watermelon,  a tradition at the fair. And have San Mateo County Fair Culinary Arts Department focus on getting a sponsor from Draegers Cooking School for a vegan cooking demo stage. I have a connection with Chef Antonie and he will invest in the fundamentals of the department along with Walter and myself. Chef Antonie is a French chef based in the Redwood City area. So expect more to come.


Another thing is the main concert stage. There are fairgoers that want comedy acts and more music in 2024 and we do promise them. I know Smashmouth will be headlining the San Mateo County Fair sponsored by Safeway. Remember Gloria Gaynor was sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. Let’s get more sponsors like T-Moblie, Costco, and Verizon as sponsors for the Pop 2000 tour with hosted NYSNC Chris Kirkpatrick and his friends.  And wait there’s more – Chris Kattan (star of the show) featuring Rob Sheinder (for an opening act) as they bring a special stand-up to the Bay Area.
So if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the fair manager or the team at anytime year round. Or comment below at Everything South City
We’re a community that comes together
Ava Marie Romero
South City’s Own Celebrity Chef



South San Francisco Celebrity Chef Ava Marie fulfilling a lifetime dream to be on the set with Celeb Chef Guy Fieri



Ava Marie is a lifelong resident of South San Francisco and lives in Winston Manor with her family.

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3 months ago

The Fair was free for children and seniors for one day last week, and while there seemed to be lots, was light and some of the exhibit halls lacked in entries for photography or the arts.
It seemed like the fair had shrunk with limited shows even the senior tables were closing early before 3 pm. 2023 SMC Fair was disappointing. Why didn’t they charge $5 instead of $15 for parking? It would have made more people attend. Food was horribly expensive, a hotdog and drink $25 Costco sells the same for $1.50 !

Ava Marie Romero
3 months ago

I agree with you 100% with inflation going on these days I know and prices are high. I would bring that attention to the event center team immediately and I will work with them on hoe we can bring the food court cost down for 2024. I would consider $2 Tuesdays to comeback as well as free until 5pm to return as well instead of 3pm yes it could improve for 90th year thank you for your feedback