Chickens running free in Fair Oaks village. There are over 200 chickens in the area.
The town center of Fair Oaks is called Old Fair Oaks Village, which is located approximately a half-mile away from the American River Parkway. The Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre is located in this part of town. Events that take place here include the Fair Oaks Theater Festival, the Fair Oaks Fiesta and Car Show, and the annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival each September.
The town center also houses the Fair Oaks History Center, which contains the history of the founding and development of Fair Oaks including displays featuring pictures and artifacts dating from the early 1900s, as well as a small collection of early Maidu Indian artifacts.
The community began as part of the 1844 Rancho San Juan Mexican land grant. In 1895, Brevet Brigadier General Charles Henry Howard and James W. Wilson of the Howard-Wilson Publishing Company of Chicago acquired rights to present Fair Oaks community, then primarily covered by citrus farms, from California Senator Frederick K. Cox and businessman Crawford W. Clarke. The Howard-Wilson company surveyed and mapped the land and began to promote Fair Oaks as one of their “Sunset Colonies.” The Howard-Wilson company advertised Fair Oaks as an innovative and growing citrus colony after destructive freezes in Southern California and Florida and a national depression hitting in 1893. Many of the purchasers were professionals and other friends of the investors and the Fair Oaks community was initially composed primarily of businessmen and other professionals, including bankers and engineers.