The California Mid-State Fair saw increases across the board this year over last, despite an unexpected summer storm that drenched the property right before the fair’s opening.
“After overcoming extreme flooding with water and mud covering every inch of the facility, I feel truly blessed to end the fair with such incredible numbers,” Mid-State Fair CEO Vivian Robertson said in a statement. “It is a true testament to the commitment of the board, staff, and the volunteers, who worked tirelessly trudging through the mud in the gallant cleanup efforts.”
A total of 428,807 people attended the fair during its 12-day run from July 22 through Aug. 2 at the Paso Robles Event Center. That’s up 2.9 percent over 2014’s admission counts.
The fair’s concerts, rodeo and monster truck shows attracted 93,372 attendees — nearly 17,200 or 22.5 percent more than in 2014.
And, other than a public uproar over a much-delayed Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper concert on July 25, the concerts were well received.
The Junior Livestock Auction and Replacement Heifer Sale also saw an increase for the sixth year in a row. The auction and sale brought in more than $2.1 million, up 2.8 percent from 2014.
Fairgoers spent way more on concessions this year, as vendors tallied nearly $1.4 million in sales — a 22 percent gain over last year.
The carnival also produced more revenue — with sales coming in at $525,000 or about 5 percent more than in 2014.
The fair’s industrial arts auction, where high school shop exhibitors auction off their projects, saw the largest year-over-year gain of all the categories this year, generating $64,040 in sales for a 25.7 percent increase from 2014.
And, even though it was the first time since 1995 that the fair’s opening day didn’t kick off with a cattle drive through town, fairgoers experienced new attractions this year such as a first-ever daily midway parade and a new inaugural craft beer night.
The 2016 California Mid-State Fair is scheduled to run from July 20 to 31 with a “Biggest Little Fair Anywhere” theme.