Monday, March 19 , 2018, 3:36 am | Fair 41º


Local News


Junior Livestock Participants Settle In for Santa Barbara County Fair

The annual event's five-day run at the Santa Maria Fairpark opens Wednesday

Haley Brixler from the Los Berros 4-H in Arroyo Grande tends to her pig, Cotton, at the Santa Maria Fairpark as part of the Santa Barbara County Fair, which opens Wednesday.
Haley Brixler from the Los Berros 4-H in Arroyo Grande tends to her pig, Cotton, at the Santa Maria Fairpark as part of the Santa Barbara County Fair, which opens Wednesday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The junior livestock barns were bustling with activity Monday at the Santa Maria Fairpark, where it was weigh-in day for pigs, sheep and other animals prior to the opening of the Santa Barbara County Fair.

The annual fair, with the theme of “Homespun Fun,” starts Wednesday and closes Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. each day during the fair.

“We are looking for a fantastic year this year," said Richard Persons, the fairpark's CEO. "It looks like the weather is going to be really great and we’re getting a lot of response for our four major acts as well as for the Sunday Fiesta. That one is surprising us a little bit."

The 4-H and FFA members got their traditional early start by transporting their animal projects to the fair on Sunday for a busy week culminating with the Championship Drive at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday.

Hundreds of animals — 325 sheep, 690 swine, 185 beef and dozens of others, including goats and poultry — and their handlers showed up at the fair Sunday for what organizers called a smooth arrival and followed Monday by their weigh-ins.

“Things are going good,” said Rick Tomaseini, the fair’s new livestock supervisor. “So far, it’s been a great year.”

The junior livestock activity is just one piece of the fair, which also will include a carnival, food booths, commercial exhibits and more. The fairpark is sold out on vendor space, Persons added.

"We're looking forward to a great year," Persons said.

SBC Fair
Aaron Nunez from the Lompoc Valley 4-H gets some practice time with Rocky as part of the Santa Barbara County Fair. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

This year's new attractions at the fair include a Pollywood Bird Show and Wild West Turkey Stampede with multiple performances planned each day of the fair.

An educational and interactive by Pacific Animal Productions will bring some swamp critters to the fair, providing a close-up look at armadillos, turtles, possums and crawdads in addition to alligators and more. Four shows are planned daily.

The fair’s opening day Wednesday is Dollar Day with $1 admission for adults and children plus $1 carnival rides. The Main Stage entertainment Wednesday will be by Eddie Money, starting at 8 p.m.

Main Stage concerts are free with paid admission to the fair. Seating for the Main Stage concerts is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Thursday of the fair is Senior Day with admission for senior citizens 62 years old and over  is just $1. The Main Stage concert performer at 8 p.m. Thursday will be Martina McBride.

Friday is Agriculture and Cattleman's Day at the fair, with a Country Rodeo starting at 10 a.m. in the Minetti Arena. Competition will include pole bending, barrel racing and more. Los Lobos will perform on the Main Stage, starting at 8 p.m. Friday.

Day four at the fair is Military & Law Enforcement Day at the fair.

On Saturday, all military members and their immediate family members will be admitted for free into the fair. On this day, the featured Main Stage performer is Jerrod Niemann, with the concert starting at 8 p.m.

Also Saturday, the popular Destruction Derby is scheduled for 6 p.m., with gates opening at 5 p.m. The Destruction Derby is a separate ticketed event, with general admission $12 or free for children under 2 years old. Tickets will be available at the gate the day of the event.

The fair's final day Sunday is Fiesta Day with special concert and Jaripeo (or Mexican-style rodeo) planned for the Minetti Arena. This is a separate ticketed event.

Regular admission to the fair costs $10 for adults, $7 for kids 6 to 11 years old, $7 for senior citizens age 62 or older or free for children age 5 or younger.

For more information, go the fairpark's website by clicking here or call 805.925.8824.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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