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Santa Barbara Fair & Expo Returns to Earl Warren Showgrounds

29th annual event offers a variety of attractions and family friendly fun

Carnival rides at Santa Barbara Fair & Expo. Click to view larger
Carnival rides stand ready as the 29th annual Santa Barbara Fair & Expo kicks off Wednesday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

The giant ferris wheel and carousel are just two carnival rides available at the 29th annual Santa Barbara Fair & Expo at the Earl Warren Showgrounds from Wednesday through Sunday.

The event offers family friendly activities, including more than 30 rides and attractions, a petting zoo, live music, pig races and pony rides, cook-offs, agriculture displays and livestock, and craft and photography shows.

This year's theme is “Out of this World.” 

“If you walk to the front of the property, you can see a giant flying saucer,” said Earl Warren Showgrounds CEO Scott Grieve. “We have a great carnival for adults and older children and a kiddie carnival. The pig races are always a favorite.”

Booths will offer food items such as cotton candy, corn dogs, popcorn, churros, caramel apples, kettle corn, hamburgers, fries, Mexican and Thai food, sausages, pizza, tri-tip and ribs, corn on the cob, cinnamon rolls, ice cream, milkshakes, beer and other beverages.

“A favorite is the funnel cake,” Grieve said.

The event also is a chance for the community to showcase their talents, including dancing and singing.

“We have traditional fair entertainment like a hypnotist and jugglers… and local entertainment and groups, bands and dancing troops,” Grieve said.

Admission is free of charge for some visitors on certain days.

Ferris wheel at Santa Barbara Fair & Expo. Click to view larger
The ferris wheel is a favorite ride at the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo.  (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

On Thursday, first responders with an identification card receive free entry to the fair and one guest, Grieve said. An authentic 1902 American Steam Fire Engine also will be on display Thursday.

Seniors arriving between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday receive free entry, Grieve said.

A new attraction this year is the “Lucha Libre Action” show featuring more than 30 wrestlers on Saturday.

Savory foods, rides, animals and exhibits drew more than 50,000 visitors to last year's Santa Barbara Fair & Expo.

About the event

What: Santa Barbara Fair and Expo.

When: 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 4 p.m. to midnight Friday; 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara.

Cost: $5 children and $8 adults.  A carnival wristband is $28.

Parking: $10 at Santa Barbara Fair and Expo. Free parking at La Cumbre Middle School, 2255 Modoc Road, and Bishop Diego High School, 4000 La Colina Road, with a free shuttle to the fair running every half hour.

Information: 805.687.0766;

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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