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Preparations for fast approaching Santa Barbara County Fair has Santa Maria Fairpark buzzing with activity

Santa Barbara County Fair set up

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Maria Fairpark is buzzing with activity as preparations for the fast approaching 130th Annual Santa Barbara County Fair take place all around the fairgrounds.

With less than a week to go before the fair officially opens to the public, workers are in full set up mode, getting the property ready to welcome in tens of thousands of visitors to popular annual event.

"So much activity," said Casey Douglass, Santa Maria Fairpark Public Relations/Sponsorships. "There's so many people running around getting things done, and you never know, it's like quiet chaos because we're in the background doing all of the things, but it will all come together and make for a fabulous fair for everybody."

All day Thursday, rides with Helm and Sons Amusements were slowly being assembled, as workers prepared the two separate carnival locations.

"Today is about our 13th day here on site setting up," said Helms and Sons Amusements CEO Davey Helm. "From building blocks to going through inspections to checking hydraulics, testing the rides. Everything that you see here has been tested multiple times."

In the Convention Center, a portion of the fair was actually taking place as judging was held for some of the fine arts competitions.

"Last week we had our intake of fine arts, home arts and our photography," said Caroline Hileman, Fair Home Arts & Fine Arts Superintendent. "We had judging on our home arts on Saturday, and today we had our judges in to judge our fine arts, which is the drawings and the paintings, pottery and sculptures. Since we now have judging completed, so now we're trying to make the building all beautiful and we have our ag mechanics coming in this Saturday and the floriculture, so we're getting ready for all the intake of those."

In the livestock area, which will host hundreds of local agricultural students throughout the week, final touches were being applied by a handful of workers all day long.

"Everything is ready to go right now," said Fair Livestock Superintendent Rick Tomasini. "We'll have our leaders meeting tonight. Tomorrow morning, the parents are allowed to come in and start decorating all their pens to prepare themselves for Sunday. Sunday morning at 8 o'clock all the animals will start coming in. Friday and Saturday, they'll get all their pens decorated and their shavings in place for the animals and then Sunday, there will be a line of trailers coming through, all the kids unload their animals, they get their tack unloaded. They get everything set in place and prepare themselves for Monday, and then Monday we'll do the weigh in of animals and the fair actually kicks in on Monday."

The Santa Barbara County Fair will be held July 12-16 and will feature several fun-filled attractions, including free live entertainment.

On the grandstand, the fair will offer four free shows, kicking on Wednesday, July 12 with a tribute band highlighting the best songs from the Eagles and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

On Thursday, country singer Ashley McBryde will take the stage, followed by multi-genre artist Uncle Kracker on Friday, and finally alternative rock band Switchfoot on Saturday.

For more information about the 130th Santa Barbara County Fair, click here.

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Dave Alley

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