For 17 years a group of community organizations have partnered to make history, and grow healthy activities and choices for all ages at the Marin County Fair.
It’s hard to imagine now, that two beer companies sponsored the Marin County Fair’s entertainment and dining pavilions up until 2004. Play Fair Marin replaced those sponsors — and has worked with the Marin County Fair to end any alcohol marketing, sponsorship and promotion.
Originally branded Play Fair: Building Healthy Communities the name was changed in 2020 to Healthy Fair Healthy Marin to better communicate the goal of the initiative. In some places on these web pages you will see some historical documents referring to Play Fair. It is all the same — just the name was revised in 2020!
This award winning initiative has realigned policies, practices and messages, helping to shape community and family values related to alcohol, physical activity, and healthy food at the Fair, at home and beyond, for future generations.
Continuing its ground breaking efforts, Healthy Fair Healthy Marin supported the Marin County Fair’s efforts when, in 2007 it became the first 100% smoke-free fair in the nation. Healthy Fair Healthy Marin’s other initiatives are just as groundbreaking, including:
Some people come to the Fair looking forward to an annual fried splurge! By all means enjoy that tasty treat you look forward to — and while at the Marin County Fair (and beyond) consider also snacking on a tasty treat that isn’t going to slow you down! Notice that in the food court all vendors include healthy options on their menu, with colorful signs that make it easy to pick out healthy treats! Each Healthy Option offered has been analyzed by a nutritionist to ensure that the carbohydrate, protein, and fat content fall within healthy ranges. There, amongst traditional Fair foods are some amazing award winning healthy offerings.
It’s hard to imagine now, but there used to be two beer companies that sponsored the Marin County Fair. Flashy ads and signs soaked the fairgrounds — drowning out the names of community groups. Since 2006 marketing of alcohol products has been eliminated, allowing recognition of community partners. This ground-breaking effort to assure a healthier environment at the Marin County Fair has received national attention and numerous awards from the Western Fairs Association.
Beer and wine vendors are committed to making the Marin County Fair the healthiest and Happiest Fair on Earth. Again this year groups selling alcohol will strictly enforce the policies of checking ID for every patron and refusing sales of alcohol to minors and intoxicated patrons. Each person working in a booth selling alcohol is required to participate in a training regarding Responsible Beverage Service. Please thank them for these important efforts that keep our Fair, families, and community healthy and safe!
A USA Today survey found that teens say alcohol ads have greater influence on the desire to drink in general than the desire to buy a particular brand.
A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that the number of beer and distilled spirits ads tended to increase with a magazine’s youth readership. For every 1 million underage readers ages 12 to 19 in a magazine, researchers generally found 1.6 times more beer advertisements and 1.3 times more distilled spirits advertisements.
A study of children ages nine to 11 found that children were more familiar with Budweiser’s television frogs than Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, or Smokey the Bear.
Alcohol company Web sites received nearly 700,000 in-depth visits — visits that went beyond the age-verification page on the site—from young people under the legal drinking age. In fact, 13.1% of all in-depth visits to 55 alcohol Web sites were initiated by underage youth.
Video games such as a water-balloon toss, pinball, car races, shooting aliens and air hockey, as well as customized music downloads and IM (instant messaging) accessories were found throughout alcohol company web sites, especially beer and distilled spirits web sites.
Smoke-free air at the Marin County Fair creates an environment where we’re happy to gather with friends and family. Marin County is proud to have been a national leader by presenting the first 100% Smoke-Free County Fair in the country in 2007.
For the health of fellow Fair goers there is no smoking of any kind within the Fairgrounds or in the parking lots and area immediately surrounding the Fair.
Secondhand smoke is a health hazard to nonsmokers. Local and state laws now prohibit smoking in most public places. The Smoke-free Workplace Law protects the 86% of the public who do not smoke from involuntary exposure. The Smoke-Free Fair reduces the potential for children to associate smoking and tobacco with fun protects the public and fair workers from smoking and tobacco-related litter and pollution; and affirms the family-friendly atmosphere that the Marin Fair is known for.
Non-smokers and smokers alike experience allergy-like symptoms in the presence of secondhand smoke: burning eyes, headaches, nausea, increased colds, and general lowering of immune system
There is scientific evidence that these symptoms can progress to diseases such as asthma, heart disease and heart attacks (because secondhand smoke thickens the blood and can cause dangerous clots), lung cancer and other cancers.
Outdoor air toxicologists and the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General have issued reports that secondhand smoke is a dangerous toxic air contaminant, for which there is no known safe level of exposure.
For more information on scientific studies about health hazards of secondhand smoke exposure, visit the following websites:
We are sensitive to our fair-goers and workers who smoke and understand that for many quitting smoking is difficult. Nicotine is a very addictive drug. For any workers or other Marin residents who are thinking about quitting tobacco use we provide cessation services through Bay Area Community Resources, a local non-profit organization with an excellent track record in helping people with addictions. You can refer employees; friends and neighbors to this agency by having them call (415) 444-5580. Non Marin residents may call the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS to receive phone assistance (in most languages) with quitting smoking