PASO ROBLES, Calif. – With the swift cut of a ribbon at the main entrance to the Paso Robles Event Center, the 2016 California Mid-State Fair officially opened at noon Wednesday.
“It’s the most exciting thing in the world,” said fair CEO Michael Bradley. “We’re really pleased with the great weather and the great opportunity for folks to come out and enjoy the fair.”
For Bradley, the occasion was especially important since it represented his first as fair CEO since assuming the position in May. He has taken the reigns overseeing an event that has long been a premiere summer destination.
“This fair is known internationally really as one of the great fairs in this country,” said Bradley. “A lot of it has to do with the great entertainment we’ve got. It’s not just the big name entertainment, it’s all the entertainment.”
In addition to the top-notch entertainment, the Mid-State Fair will once again feature a wide variety of attractions and exhibits, including many that are new this year.
One of the most anticipated is the K-9 Kings Flying Dog Show, which has been featured in numerous television programs.
“We’ve got an acrobatic trick dog show here, we’ve got all sorts of comedy, crowd participation, I’ve got rescue dogs, all sorts of different breeds,” said trainer J.D. Platt. “If you like dogs, you’re going to enjoy yourself watching these talented canines. We’ve got some pretty famous dogs that have done some pretty neat stuff over the years.”
Another new attraction is the Slingshot extreme thrill ride located adjacent to the Headliner Stage.
“The tower stands about 145 feet in the air, it shoots you up about 200 feet, goes from the bottom to the top in about two-and-a-half seconds, reaches speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and you get up to five G’s on the ride,” said owner/operator Colby Barendregt.
Other new attractions include the Mexican-style rodeo Fiesta Del Charro (July 31), Extreme Team Rodeo (July 31), new location for the Industrial Arts display, revamped parade, California Craft Spirits Competition, and the return of the Budweiser Clydesdales.
The new features, along with customary favorites, brought out big crowds to the fair’s first day.
“The kids can’t wait to try a hot dog or a corn dog and my daughter is set on some cotton candy and try out some rides and games,” said Delilah Martinez.
The Martinez family of Morro Bay earned the honor of being the fair’s very first visitors when the gates opened at noon.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so cool,” said Jamie Martinez. “It’s just really special being the first family into a huge fair that goes around California.”
The fair not only attracts visitors from the Central Coast, and the rest of state, but also beyond.
“They’ve been my favorite band for about a year. My favorite introduced me to them and I’ve bought all their CDs,” said Kayla Cox, who traveled from Newberg, Ore., near Portland, to specifically see Fall Out Boy perform on the Chumash Grandstand Arena.
Fall Out Boy opens another outstanding grandstand line-up of musical acts. Other feature headliners include, Fergie, Tim McGraw, Duran Duran, Blake Shelton, Hollywood Vampires, Justin Moore and Don Henley.
The California Mid-State Fair opens daily from noon to midnight. The fair runs from July 20-July 31.
For more information, visit www.midstatefair.com