2016 California Mid-State Fair Highlights!


PASO ROBLES (CA) – The 2016 California Mid-State Fair was smokin’ hot, both literally and figuratively. For the sixth consecutive year overall attendance exceeded 410,000 people, despite temperatures exceeding 105° on five of the twelve days.

First-year CEO Michael H. Bradley said, “Despite the extreme heat, America’s Favorite Fair was a tremendous success, full of family fun and memories.” The heat wave hit Paso Robles just as the Fair was starting, and didn’t let up until the Fair came to a close.

According to The Weather Channel, the high temperatures in Paso Robles for the 12 day run of the Fair were:

-Wednesday, July 20 99°

-Thursday, July 21 102°

-Friday, July 22 102°

-Saturday, July 23 105°

-Sunday, July 24 98°

-Monday, July 25 97°

-Tuesday, July 26 105°

-Wednesday, July 27 106°

-Thursday, July 28 105°

-Friday, July 29 107°

-Saturday, July 30 95°

-Sunday, July 31 92°

Air quality was also extremely poor during the Fair, with smoke from the massive Sobranes Fire in Monterey County negatively affecting air quality. The SLO County Air Pollution Control District issued a press release 7/26/16 encouraging residents to remain indoors as much as possible when it was obvious that smoke was in the air. Many local doctors also advised patients with asthma, children and the elderly to stay indoors.

Perhaps due to the relative cooldown and clearing, the final Sunday of the Fair was extremely popular. Two new events highlighted the entertainment in the Grandstand Arena, the Fiesta Del Charro and the Extreme Team Rodeo. In addition, regional Mexican singer/songwriter and accordionist Noel Torres performed two shows that had the Frontier Free Stage overflowing with enthusiastic fans.

OVERALL ATTENDANCE of this year’s Fair was off slightly by 1.8% from last year, attracting an impressive total of 421,231 people coming through the gates.

One of the huge improvements of this year’s Fair was the INCREASED SECURITY MEASURES taken by Event Staff, including for the first time ever, metal detectors at each gate. Faced with the daunting task of hand-wanding each and every guest, the Fair’s Event Staff was able to move people through the gates without noticeable slowdowns. Many guests complimented Fair management and staff on incorporating this important safety technology.

BLAKE WINS! Highlighting the ENTERTAINMENT was country superstar Blake Shelton whose record-breaking sold-out show of 14,875 people was the single-largest crowd to ever see a show in the Main Grandstand Arena. That Saturday, July 23rd also set single-day records for beer consumption (326 kegs) and trash haul-away (7 yards). Overall attendance for the Bud Light Concert Series was very strong at 74,845 people attending the 13 concerts/shows.

The JR. LIVESTOCK AUCTION brought in a total of $2,426,206 on 817 animals (with Add-Ons, unofficial). Of that, $345,825 came from the Replacement Heifer Sale and $2,080,381 came from the Jr. Livestock Auction. Highlights included Friday’s Highest Selling Heifer: Chaparral 4-H’s Brandon Pacheco’s Replacement Heifer at $22,000 (Buyer: Adelaide Inn & Black Oak Hotel) and Saturday’s Highest Selling Animal: Chaparral 4-H’s Jena Corea’s Hog at $45,600 (Buyer: Tom Corea Construction).

The INDUSTRIAL ARTS AUCTION increased from 57 exhibits in 2015 to 58 exhibits this year, with overall money being raised for the kids reaching a $58,627 payout (with Add-Ons).

CARNIVAL revenue increased to $550,000 for the year, while overall CONCESSION revenue dipped slightly to $1,221,303.

The Central Coast Wine Competition named Robert Hall Winery the 2016 Winery of the Year. Halter Ranch Vineyard and The Olive Press took the top spots at the Central Coast Olive Oil Competition. Best of Show at the Central Coast Vinegar Competition went to A. Persoff & Son LLC. New this year was the California Craft Spirts Competition. Best of Class winners were Autry Cellars/Brandy, Bethel Rd. Distillery/Brandy, Krobar Distillery/Whiskey, Krobar Distillery/Gin and Rocket Vodka/Vodka. Opolo Vineyards/Brandy took home the first ever Best of Show award.

Hugh Pitts was named Agriculturalist of the Year, Susan Cochrane was named CattleWoman of the Year and Steve Johns was named Cattleman of the Year.

The 2016 San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards went to: Wine Industry Person of the Year – Jean-Pierre Wolff, Wolff Vineyards Winemaker of the Year – Steve Peck, J.Lohr Vineyards & Wines Winegrape Grower of the Year – Bob Thomas, Mesa Vineyard Management

San Luis Obispo’s Victoria Humphrey was named Miss California Mid-State Fair. The 17-year old loves cheerleading, hiking and baking. She will be attending Cal Poly this fall.

The Fair introduced the first-ever Cattlemen’s Choice Awards for the Top Four Bred Heifers being selected by three SLO County Cattlemen. The Cattlemen awarded $3,000 to the four deserving exhibitors.

The 2017 California Mid-State Fair runs July 19 through July 30!