Saturday, February 23, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 51

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on July 11th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 19

Spotlight on: Santa Barbara County Fair

Shelly Cone, public relations

By Spencer Cole

Hold on to your cowboy hats, the fair is back in town. 

The annual event, now celebrating its 127th year, features the state's largest junior livestock auction, big-name musical artists, and an assortment of local goods ranging from jams, jellies, pies, homemade quilts, floriculture, and photography at the Santa Maria Fairpark

"It's going to be a boot-stomping, rip-roaring good time," Fairpark public relations official Shelly Cone said. 

This Wednesday, July 11, marked the first day of activities and offered half-off admission prices for patrons who arrived before 3 p.m. This Thursday, July 12, is Senior Appreciation Day, with $1 tickets for seniors 62 years and older; all other admissions are again half price before 3 p.m. 

The 127th annual Santa Barbara County Fair opened its gates on Wednesday, July 11, and concludes on Sunday, July 15.

On Friday, the fair celebrates Cattleman and Agriculture Day, which will then be followed by Pepsi's Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day on Saturday. Active duty military members, law enforcement, and first responders with valid ID will be admitted free of charge.

The following Sunday is Fiesta Day, with a "Hispanic concert" in the Budweiser Minetti Arena. The day is a separate ticketed event, according to Cone. 

General admission during the fair is $8 for ages 6-11; $12 for ages 12-61; and $8 for ages 62 and older. 

The fair will again host a destruction derby, an event that pits competing cars against one another in a crash-filled battle royale until only one vehicle is left standing (or intact). Tickets for the derby are $12 for general admission and $18 for box seats. Destruction derby tickets can only be purchased at the Fairpark ticket office.

The current concert schedule is Smash Mouth on July 11 as part of the Bud Light Concert Series; Trace Adkins will perform July 12; Kool and the Gang takes the stage on July 13; and Sheila E. performs on July 14. All KCOY Main Stage entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free with paid admission.

But that's not all that will be offered in terms of recreation. 

"There are plenty of carnival rides, animals, petting zoos, pony rides, and of course lots of fantastic fair food in a wholesome, old-fashioned atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy," Cone said, adding that there will also be a "live shark experience," live comedy acts, an inaugural event called Cowboys and Calliopes, "where you'll get to explore the sounds of nature." 

The rides this year are provided by Helms and Sons Amusements and feature "thrill rides that older kids, teens, and adults can't resist," according to a company spokesperson. A few of the rides were once owned and kept by Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch. Unlimited carnival ride wristbands are $35. 

In total, the week-long event is expected to bring in roughly 150,000 attendees. 

For more info, visit or the fair's Facebook page.

The fair isn’t all about rides; there are also livestock auctions, music performances, and a demolition derby, among other attractions.


• The Career Pathways for Youth program put on its second annual Santa Maria Youth Summit in June. Career Pathways for Youth and its two-day program are funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and provides summer employment preparation activities for area kids in order to reduce youth violence. "The goal was to provide youth in our community with a positive summer activity that would prepare them for their future careers," said Luis Servin, program manager for the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board.  

• On Aug. 18, Marian Regional Medical Center will host its foundation's annual dinner: Vineyard and Vistas. All proceeds from the charitable event will go to support advancing pediatric services at the medical center. As of 2018, Marian serves 35,000 pediatric patients a year. That population represents a 26 percent increase in pediatric volume since opening the new hospital in 2012. Currently, highly specialized pediatric care is nonexistent on the Central Coast, forcing families to travel out of the area to Los Angeles, the Central Valley, or the Bay Area for the advanced care. For more information, visit

Staff Writer Spencer Cole wrote this week's Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, mail, or email at

Weekly Poll
Did the federal government shutdown impact you or your family?

Yes. We missed paychecks and had to make some tough decisions.
I don't work for the government, and it didn't impact me at all.
I don't have a government job, but I still missed out on important services.
I'm glad it happened. Who needs airport security anyway?

| Poll Results