Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 2:00 am | Fair 64º


Local News

Santa Barbara County Fair All Set to Celebrate ‘Cowboys and Carousels’

Junior livestock animals arrive at Santa Maria Fairpark for 127th fair, which opens Wednesday with slightly cooler temperatures in forecast


The livestock barns were abuzz with activity along with the sounds of mooing, bleating, squealing and baaing animals Sunday ahead of the Santa Barbara County Fair.

Although the fair’s opening day was still three days away, members of 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, Granges and other junior livestock exhibitors moved their assorted animals to the Santa Maria Fairpark.

This county fair, making its 127th year with the theme of “Cowboys and Carousels,” opens Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

But junior livestock exhibitors will be busy all week, leading up the small stock auction Friday and large stock auction Saturday.

On Sunday, Olivia Berman of Lucky Clover 4-H and Venna Garcia of Los Amigos 4-H were spending time with their animals in the sheep and goat barn.

Leroy, Berman’s boer goat, stood on his hind legs to receive some extra scratches. Berman, a junior at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, has participated in the 4-H projects for six years.

“I like their personalities,” she said of her choice the show goats. “Every goat is different. Each year I have new challenges.”

A quirk involving Leroy’s back legs required Berman to make adjustments to better show him, something she breezily brushes off as an advanced showmanship skill.

As she talked, Leroy raised on his hind legs to look around. Berman knows she eventually will have to say a final farewell.

“It’s crossed my mind he’s not going to be coming home, but it’s a fact of life,” she told Noozhawk.

A steady stream of trucks pulling trailers arrived at the fairpark throughout the day Sunday, delivering assorted animals as organizers expressed gratitude for slightly cooler weather.

Between phone calls, Junior Livestock superintendent Rick Tomisini said gates for arriving deliveries opened a little early, with a smooth process thanks to the crew directing traffic.

“It’s been good, it’s been fantastic,” he said, adding the number of animals remains similar to past years with beef slightly higher.

Throughout the fairgrounds, other displays, such as those of beekeepers and ag students, were being set up in buildings in anticipation of the opening day.

“So far it’s going quite well,” Fairpark CEO Richard Persons said. “We’re very pleased with the way the weather has turned out. We’re hoping the next week is going to be as predicted in the low 70s.

“So far everything is going amazingly smoothly.”

Gates at the Fairpark, at 937 S. Thornburg St., will be open from noon to 10 p.m. all five days, with half-price admission offered before 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Senior citizens will be admitted for $1 on Thursday while active-duty military members and law enforcement officers will be admitted for free on Saturday with current identification.

Other attractions include the Helms & Sons Amusements carnival along with the Live Shark Experience, an educational show about the vital role in the ecosystem with a diver providing narration.

The Extreme Sports Zone will offer the chance to climb a rock wall, bounce on a bungee or walk on water.

Main stage concerts will include the rock group Smash Mouth on Wednesday, country singer Trace Adkins on Thursday, rhythm & blues and funk group Kool & the Gang on Friday and percussionist and former Prince protégé Sheila E on Saturday.

The main stage concerts each start at 7:30 p.m. and are free with paid fair admission.

On Saturday night, a destruction derby will thrill crowds with action starting at 6 p.m. and gates opening at 5 p.m. Admission to the derby costs $18 for VIP box seats or $12 for general audience members, with children 2 and younger admitted for free.

Sunday is Fiesta Day at the fair when the sounds of Hispanic concert will fill the fairpark. Concert gates open at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara County Fair.

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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