Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy perform during 'Dancing with the Stars' on Monday, May 13, 2013. (ABC/Adam Taylor)
The Alameda County Fair has more to offer than just pig races, fireworks, carnival rides and deep-fried Twinkies. It also has a nifty nightly concert series, featuring stars from a wide assortment of musical genres.
Best of all, the concerts are free with regular admission to the fair, which runs Wednesday through July 7 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.
Here's a look at this year's concerts: Hinder (Wednesday): The Oklahoma hard-rock band burst onto the scene in a big way with its 2005 debut, "Extreme Behavior," which went on to sell more than 3 million copies in the U.S. alone. It's currently touring in support of its fourth full-length studio effort, "Welcome to the Freakshow," which was released in December. Kix Brooks (June 20): He was one half of Brooks and Dunn, the multiplatinum country duo that delivered such chart-toppers as "Brand New Man," "Neon Moon" and, of course, "Boot Scootin' Boogie." These days, he's riding solo in support of last year's "New to This Town." The Marshall Tucker Band (June 21): The Southern rock troupe from South Carolina produced so many good tunes in the '70s. The shortlist includes "Can't You See," "Searchin' for a Rainbow" and "Heard It in a Love Song," a top 20 hit back in 1977. The Spinners (June 22): The Detroit vocal group was one of the top R&B acts of the '70s, crafting a steady succession of hit singles that included, to name but a few, "I'll Be Around," "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love," "Games People Play" and "Then Came You" (with Dionne Warwick). Loverboy (June 23): The Canadian classic-rock band is still led by vocalist Mike Reno and guitarist Paul Dean, which means that you should be able to recognize the 2013 versions of all the 1980s hits, like "Turn Me Loose," "The Kid Is Hot Tonite" and "Working for the Weekend." Evolution (June 25): It's not the real thing, but -- if you close your eyes and just listen -- you might think it is. That's because Evolution does such a faithful job with its tribute show to Journey. Francesca Battistelli (June 26): The 28-year-old New Yorker is one of contemporary Christian music's brightest young stars. Her past two studio albums, 2008's "My Paper Heart" and 2011's "Hundred More Years," both hit No. 1 on the U.S. Christian charts. Air Supply (June 27): The band's name is practically synonymous with soft-rock. The duo, consisting of vocalist Russell Hitchcock and guitarist Graham Russell, will likely charm the crowd with such hits as "Lost in Love," "All Out of Love" and "The One That You Love." Pablo Cruise (June 28): The group was one of the Bay Area's most successful pop acts of the late-'70s, crafting two albums -- 1977's "A Place in the Sun" and 1978's "Worlds Away" -- that each sold more than a million copies in the U.S. alone. Pablo Cruise's top singles include "Whatcha Gonna Do?" and "Love Will Find a Way." Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds (June 29): This might be the fair's most impressive booking of the season. The R&B star is an incredibly accomplished individual, with 10 Grammy Awards, three multiplatinum solo albums and producer credits on dozens of hit songs by other artists. Los Caminantes (June 30): The Mexican folk-music band has recorded more than 30 albums during a successful career that dates back to the mid-'70s. Caravanserai (July 2) and Zepparella (July 3): Caravanseri pays tribute to Santana. Zepparella is Led Zep with a twist, an all-female tribute to the mighty heavy metal band. Red, White and Blues Festival (July 4): This Fourth of July tradition is always one of the fair's top offerings. The all-day festival, put together by the good folks at the Bay Area Blues Society, will feature such acts as Bad Karma, the Caravan of Allstars and the Love Light Blues Band. Weird Al Yankovic (July 5): It's about to get Weird -- but in a very good way. It should be a blast to hear the comic genius unleash such fan favorites as "Eat It," "I Lost on Jeopardy" and "Smells Like Nirvana." Zendaya (July 6): She's still only 16, yet the multitalented Oakland star already has quite a resume. She's starred in the Disney Channel sitcom "Shake It Up" and released the popular single "Swag It Out." She's best known these days for appearing on the most recent season of "Dancing With the Stars," where she finished in second place. Clay Walker (July 7): The fair closes on a country note, with the popular cowboy responsible for six No. 1 singles, including "Dreaming with My Eyes Open" and "Rumor Has It."
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.
Alameda County Fair Concerts
When: Fair runs Wednesday to July 7. All concerts begin at 7 p.m., except for the all-day Red, White and Blues festival
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton
Tickets: Concerts are included in regular fair admission -- $10 adults (age 13-61), $8 seniors (age 62+), $6 kids (age 6-12). Children (ages 5 and under) get in for free. Tickets are $2 cheaper
if purchased online before June 18. 925-426-7600,