Mid-State Fair

What’s new at the Mid-State Fair this year?

See the California Mid-State Fair carnival from the air

Drone video shows the 2017 California Mid-State Fair from above, giving aerial views of the rides and vendors at the Paso Robles fairgrounds.
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Drone video shows the 2017 California Mid-State Fair from above, giving aerial views of the rides and vendors at the Paso Robles fairgrounds.

The theme of the 2018 California Mid-State Fair is “Olé! It’s Fiesta Time” — and the fair has brought a lot of new attractions to the party.

Here’s a list of the latest rides, shows and exhibits in store at the Paso Robles fairgrounds.

Unless otherwise noted, all are free with paid fair admission.

Fair Rides wave swinger
San Luis Obispo County residents heading to the California Mid-State Fair next week should prepare for a triple-digit heat wave. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

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Carnival rides

In 2018, the fair welcomes the Star Tower, the tallest swing ride in the United States. The swing takes guests more than 110 feet in the air for a soaring experience.

Other attractions include the Beach Party fun house, the high-speed Sleighride ride and Shockwave, a drop-style ride that promises to “separate you from your stomach.” Kids can check out the Cool Bears spinning ride, the Lil Dipper Coaster and the Bubba Bear Jamboree Show.

One-day unlimited ride wristbands are on sale for $25 until 8 p.m. Tuesday. (Once the fair begins, the price goes up to $35.) They can be purchased online at www.midstatefair.com or in-person at local Albertsons, Vons and Grocery Outlet stores through Tuesday. Once the fair begins, the price goes up to $35.

Ride tickets cost 50 cents apiece or $25 for 50 tickets. (Each ride requires four to 12 tickets.) Riders can also purchase a $15 wristband to bypass lines.

The new Bikes, Bulls & Pulls event, July 29 at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, features motocross, professional bull riding and a tractor and truck pull. Brittany App

Animal Shows

Western Wildlife Oasis: If livestock isn’t your thing, the fair’s Ponderosa Pavilion shows off animals representing the American Southwest, including armadillos, an opossum and a desert tortoise. The pavilion will be open from noon to 9 p.m. daily, with animal demonstrations at 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Pig Races: It’s not every day that you get to see pigs racing. The speedy swine take their marks daily at 1 p.m., 3p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Edna Valley Barn.

Bikes, Bulls and Pulls: This action-packed new event, kicking off at the Chumash Grandstand Arena at 7 p.m. July 29, features motocross, mutton busting, bull riding and a tractor and truck pull. Tickets cost $20 to $25, or $10 to $15 for children ages 3 to 12.

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Take flight over the Mid-State Fairgrounds as they prepare for opening day. The festivities start in Paso Robles on Wednesday, July 18.

Craft beer

Sample the best beer on the Central Coast and cheer on your favorite brewmasters at the first-ever Craft Beer Tasting and Awards, 5 p.m. July 25 at Mission Square.

Co-sponsored by the fair and Central Coast Brewers Guild, the event features local breweries such as Central Coast Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in a battle for beer supremacy. Tickets cost $30, or $40 at the door.

Career fair

Want to learn a new trade or find a job? Chat with representatives from local carpentry, plumbing, welding, masonry and electrician businesses at the new Career Fair, 1 p.m. to 8p.m. daily at Edna Valley Barn. The job fair features demonstrations daily at 3 p.m., 5p.m. and 7p.m.

Garth Brooks207
Garth Brooks performs at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles in 2017. Concertgoers can pay an extra $46 to use a VIP hospitality tent at the 2018 fair. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Other things to do

Royal Circus Acrobat Show: A five-person circus performs comedy, high-wire acts and foot juggling in the fair’s carnival area at 3 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

Mission Marketplace: Check out local, handcrafted goods — everything from cheese and salsa to woodwork and pillows — at the market at Estrella Hall. The marketplace will be open from noon to midnight every day.

Showcase of Cities: What’s your favorite place on the Central Coast ? Frontier Town windows will be decorated with intricate displays highlighting attractions in San Luis Obispo County communities including Arroyo Grande, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo. Show your support for your hometown by voting for that city’s display to win the People’s Choice Award.

VIP hospitality tent: Headed to a fair concert? For an additional $46 fee, concertgoers can access a VIP tent at the Chumash Grandstand Arena that includes complimentary appetizers, a no-host bar and restrooms. The VIP tent will be available one hour before each show starts.

The California Mid-State Fair runs July 18-29 at the Paso Robles Event Center. Fair admission costs $9.50 to $12, $8.50 for seniors and $6:50 to $8 for children ages 6 to 12; kids 5 and under are free.

For more information, call 800-909-FAIR (3247) or visit midstatefair.com.

A drone video captured the magical, twinkly nighttime scene of the California Mid-State Fair, which was held in Paso Robles from July 19-31, 2017.