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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 2:24 pm | A Few Clouds 61º


Santa Barbara Going Hollywood for Fair & Expo

The fun kicks off Wednesday at Earl Warren Showgrounds

Crews were busy Monday putting the finishing touches on brightly colored rides at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in anticipation of opening night on Wednesday, when thousands of people are expected to take in this year’s Santa Barbara Fair & Expo.

Noozhawk took a tour with Earl Warren CEO Scott Grieve on Monday to get a sneak peek at all of the efforts taking place to make this year’s theme — “We’re Going Hollywood!” — come to life.

A crew of about 10 people were working to transform the property’s buildings into charming replicas of famous Hollywood landmarks, building an impressive artifice mimicking Grauman’s Chinese Theater and even a Hollywood sign on the roof of the exhibit building.

The workers all even took a trip down to Hollywood to canvass for ideas.

The fair’s north entrance gives a nod to local film history, with a gate decorated in homage to local Flying A Studios, which produced many silent films in Santa Barbara in the early 1900s.

Of the more than 70 fairs taking place throughout the state every year, Santa Barbara’s focuses on bringing a theme to life every year, he said.

That theme extends to the event’s “Hollywood and Vine” and “Sunset Boulevard” stages, where entertainment will be taking place all week.

“We really try to emphasize the local,” Grieve said.

The fair had 48,500 visitors last year, and Grieve expects that many or more this year, with good weather expected for the week.

Donating shoes to those in need is also a priority at the fair this year, and the Soles4Souls event is taking place under the direction of Goleta-based Deckers Outdoor Corp. 

Bring a slightly used pair of shoes on Wednesday night, and entrance to the fair is free, Grieve said. Bring a pair during the rest of the fair, and be entered to win a pair of Ugg Boots donated by Deckers.

The fair will open its doors on Wednesday, and runs from 4 to 9 p.m. The fair will be open those same hours on Thursday, and will be open Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, the fair will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At the fair’s Kid’s Carnival, children will have a chance to ride ponies and see exotic animals in the petting zoo. Another highlight this year are the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs.

This year’s fair will also feature more than 30 rides and attractions on the carnival midway.

The “Studio Fun” Exhibit Building will host interactive displays, as well as artwork, photography and pottery other items entered by local children.

Click here for event tickets and more information. Tickets purchased pre-sale are eligible for a 20 percent discount.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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