Beginning next year, camping will no longer be allowed during the California Mid-State Fair on the fairgrounds’ property.
“In the last few years, the 4-H & FFA campground has been increasingly difficult to manage with severe alcohol issues (both adults and minors) and often, many of the minors were left with absolutely no supervision,” according to Vivian Robertson, chief executive officer of the Mid-State Fair and the Paso Robles Event Center where the fair is held.
During this summer’s fair, the board of directors of the 16th District Agricultural Association imposed a new policy requiring that the campground be dry, barring any alcohol, she said. Yet infractions still occurred, Robertson said, “and some were even sent home.”
As a result, “the campground has become a nightmare and a tremendous health and safety concern,” she said, noting that on some occasions 4-H community leaders and FFA advisers expressed concerns that it was time to eliminate camping.
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The approximate one-acre campground has about 70 spots, Robertson estimated, and about 75 percent of them are used by North County residents who typically live less than 20 minutes away. The spots had been available to 4-H, FFA and independent exhibitors at the fair.
The board has not yet decided how to use the land that had been reserved for the campsites, she said, adding that it is exploring improvements to the area.
Next year’s Mid-State Fair will run July 20-31 with a "Biggest Little Fair...Anywhere" theme.