Skip to Content

Final set up and preparations taking place one day before start of Santa Barbara County Fair

Santa Barbara County Fair set up
Dave Alley/KEYT
A Helms and Sons Amusements employee hangs a stuffed animal in a game booth at the Santa Maria Fairpark on the morning of July 11, 2023. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – With just hours to go until the official opening of the 130th Annual Santa Barbara County Fair, final preparations are taking place all across the Santa Maria Fairpark.

"The whole fairgrounds are just coming to life," said Casey Douglass, Santa Maria Fairpark Public Relations/Sponsorship. "A total buzz of activity. We have so many different things going on. We're getting all of our exhibits are getting finalized. It's really wild and a lot of fun right now, but very busy."

All throughout the property, work began early Tuesday morning and is continuing on throughout the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, and likely the evening, to ready the facility for the thousands of visitors that are expected to arrive when gates open Wednesday at 3 p.m.

"All the vendors are here setting up. They'll be setting up the rest of the day. They started arriving on Sunday, but they'll finish all up today and we'll be ready to open tomorrow," said Douglass. "I would say hundreds of people are out here covering the grounds, making sure that everything is just right for when our fairgoers arrive."

At the Helm and Sons Amusements carnival, which operates in two locations in the Fairpark, all the rides have been set up for the past few days.

On Tuesday, a limited crew now worked to apply the final touches in the two carnival areas, preparing the entertainment zones for what are expected to be a very popular attraction the next several days.

"Putting the stuffed animals, making the last-minute checks, all the rides have been done for a couple of days now," said Davey Helm, Davey and Sons Amusements owner. "We are out here cleaning, prepping, getting things ready, making cotton candy, getting everything good to go, fueling up the generators, making our last-minute checks. We are really looking forward to opening tomorrow, and for us, there's always last minute things that you have to do to prep, and also, one of the other really important things that we do, today is a big rest day for 85 percent of our team, so making sure that we can get rest, so we can properly come out here tomorrow and entertain and keep everyone safe and do our job for our city."

The official start of the fair on Wednesday will come two days after the Junior Livestock Show swung into action on Monday.

After arriving with their animals over the weekend, on Monday, hundreds of local agriculture students each had their livestock weighed to determine their eligibility for the show and auction.

For the students who had their animals not weigh between the predetermined amount, they unfortunately had to remove their livestock from the Fairpark by 6 p.m. Monday.

On Tuesday, the Junior Livestock Show really got going with the start of market show for several animal species, a competition where the livestock are judged on their overall appearance and quality.

For more from Dave, follow him on Twitter below:

Article Topic Follows: Events
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara County Fair

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content