California State Fair returns after a two-year hiatus. “Bloodless Bullfighting” makes its debut at the Stanislaus County Fair. Tahoe businesses navigate a turbulent two years.
California's State Fair returns
Summer in Sacramento just hasn't been the same the past couple of years. The pandemic shut down a popular summertime tradition, the California State Fair. During the height of the pandemic, portions of Cal Expo were transformed into a safe housing area for those experiencing homelessness, as well as a mass COVID testing site. But after a two-year hiatus, the state fair is back. The smell of deep-fried food, corn dogs, and cotton candy wafting over Cal Expo has returned, not to mention rides and entertainment. The CEO of Cal Expo and the California State Fair, Rick Pickering, joins Insight to discuss the fair's return, what's different this year, and how they're ensuring that tens of thousands of attendees remain safe.
Portuguese bloodless bullfighting
Taking the bull by the horns figuratively means facing a daunting challenge directly and confidently. But in Portuguese culture, this saying can be quite literal. While bullfighting is banned in California, “Bloodless Bullfighting” has been legal in the state since the 1950s. A Portuguese spectacle between men and bulls where the animals are not physically harmed. These bullfights have been part of religious festivals in the state for decades but this month made their debut at the Stanislaus County Fair. Insight invited Clarence Oliveira and Tony Machado, who organized the event at the Stanislaus County Fair, as well as Diniz Borges, Director of the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute at Fresno State University, to share the cultural significance of these bullfights and the history of the Portuguese in California.
Since 2020, business owners in the Tahoe Basin have had to hurdle one challenge after another to keep their staff employed and their doors open. An ongoing and ever-evolving pandemic, wildfires, log-jammed supply chains, inflation, and the cost of living have added more pressure on the service industry, which is an essential pillar of Tahoe’s economic well-being. In the past two years, we’ve checked in a few times with Alex Hunt, the owner of Mountain Slice Cafe and Creamery on Lake Tahoe’s west shore. He has shared his odyssey with Insight, from fears of closing the cafe’s doors for good to finding an inventive way to keep serving pizza and staying connected with the community. Alex rejoined Insight to share the challenges that lay ahead for him and other businesses in the Tahoe region.