PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- The California Mid-State Fair opened in Paso Robles on Wednesday with enhanced safety precautions in place due to COVID-19.
"We're making it as safe as we possibly can," said California Mid-State Fair Interim CEO Colleen Bojorquez. "We didn't get to do all of those wonderful sites and sounds of the fair last year, so it's really, really exciting to have that back."
Following the cancellation of the 2020 Mid-State Fair, the opening marked the return of the popular event for the first time in two years.
“Earlier this year, we saw our community’s first responders giving thousands of vaccines here at the Fairgrounds,” said Bojorquez. “Thanks in part to that effort, we can now safely welcome our community back to the Fair. We’re thrilled to open the gates today and we encourage everyone to join us in keeping our community safe so we never have to pause this loved tradition again.”
Starting in January, the Paso Robles Event Center was the site of a mass vaccination clinic held by the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department.
For nearly six months before closing in early June, the venue saw thousands of residents receive vaccinations inside the Ponderosa Pavilion.
Fairgoers on Wednesday were greeted with a wide range of sanitation and health protocols in place at the Paso Robles Event Center, including detailed cleaning before, during and after events with an EPA-registered disinfectant to help prevent the spread of the virus.
In addition, high traffic areas will be sanitized more frequently, while staff will continuously monitor, report, and track all cleaning and sanitization protocols.
Hand sanitizer will be provided to all guests and staff members throughout the fairgrounds.
"We're hoping as a fairgoer, as you come in, you're not going to notice too many things different," said Bojorquez. Hopefully, you'll just feel comfortable. You'll be able to walk around and enjoy and see the exhibits department, see our the livestock departments, horse show department, that's all going. We have shopping, food, carnival. We've got it all. We're really excited to bring this to the community."
"In terms of masking, we are not requiring masks," said Bojorquez. "Our county does not require masks. However, it's recommended that if you're unvaccinated, you wear a mask indoors, and by all means, if it makes you comfortable to come to the fair and wear a mask, wear a mask."
Social distancing of at least six feet is requested and all bags are subject to security scanning.
CDC and Public Health agencies approved signage will be located throughout the grounds.
The California Mid-State Fair runs from July 21-Aug. 1.
Hours of operation are 4 p.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday and noon to midnight on Friday-Sunday.
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