Thursday, October 8 , 2015, 9:16 pm | Fair 80º

Santa Barbara Fair & Expo Kicks Off Five-Day Run at Earl Warren Showgrounds

'Fair-y Tales Come True' the theme of this year's fun-filled, family-oriented event featuring the usual carnival fare and much more

Jose Hernandez prepares a food station for this year’s Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, opening Wednesday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.
Jose Hernandez prepares a food station for this year’s Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, opening Wednesday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Brittany Avila, Noozhawk Intern | @NoozhawkNews |

Magic, thrills and family-oriented fun get under way Wednesday as this year’s Santa Barbara Fair & Expo kicks off at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara.

“Fair-y Tales Come True” is this year’s theme for the five-day event. Organizers say it will be a fantastical family affair, where kids can visit some of their favorite fairytale characters, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty and Cinderella, while adults can enjoy the delightful sounds of music sensations Graciela Beltran and Funkalicious.

For adventure seekers, there are more than 30 carnival rides, from the classic Ferris wheel to the fear-testing, stomach-dropping Zipper or Tornado. For a milder ride experience, there will be a large collection of children’s attractions, including a grand carousel.

The fair also has brought back Pig Racing this year, an attraction that will be sure to captivate all audiences and bring out some laughter, too. The lovable Petting Zoo will make its annual appearance, along with the classic assortment of mouth-watering fair food and prize-winning games.

Entertainment continues throughout the weekend with more performers, including acrobats, hypnotists, puppeteers and local bands.

The fair’s expo will include special displays of homemade foods, wine, beer, arts and crafts, horticulture and fine arts. Items are showcased in the Warren Hall, Exhibitor Building Hall and throughout the Fair & Expo.

In Warren Hall, artisans and craftspeople will hold ongoing, informal demonstrations on scrapbooking (Creative Memories), Bunka (Adult Education instructors and students), hook rugging, painting and clay (Color Me Mine), wool spinning, kitchen products (Pampered Chef), Mary Kay, aurora imaging, Santa Barbara Public Library’s Adult Literacy program and much more.

In the Exhibitor Building Hall, kids will have the opportunity to experience all kinds of fun things that are going on right here in our community. They can show off their creative side with everything from pottery to photography and designing to painting. There also are many interactive displays.

Another big highlight of the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo is the cooking contest.

“The rides will excite and the exhibits will inspire you as we salute the fantasy and fun of Fair-y Tails,” publicist James Lockwood said. “Anything is possible, and the unexpected is expected at this whimsical world of fun!”

Fair hours are 4 to 9 p.m Wednesday and Thursday; 4 to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. The carnival closes at 10 each night except for Friday, when it stays open till midnight.

Admission is $7 for adults, and $4 for children and seniors. Children under 5 get in free. Seniors will be admitted for free from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday,

Fair attendees can purchase a carnival wristband and receive unlimited rides throughout the day. Cost is $20 on Wednesday and Thursday, and $25 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Individual ride coupons can be purchase for $1 each, 25 coupons for $23 or 80 coupons for $70. Adult rides require three to five coupons; children’s rides take three coupons.

» Click here for the fair’s entertainment lineup.

» Click here for information on parking and the trolley schedule.

» Click here for the cooking contest schedule.

Noozhawk intern Brittany Avila can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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