Mid-State Fair

Attendance up at this year's Mid-State Fair, report shows

The Oktoberfest Wave Swinger ride at the California Mid-State Fair.
The Oktoberfest Wave Swinger ride at the California Mid-State Fair. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The California Mid-State Fair saw steady gains in attendance and concert revenue this summer over last, something fair organizers attribute to cooler weather and concert ticket sales that began earlier than in previous years.

The fair saw gains in all of the major financial markers listed in a report released Thursday.

The gains are “a reflection of our community, filled with so many people who put in many, many hours of hard work,” Vivian Robertson, the Paso Robles Event Center chief executive officer, said in a statement.

A total of 415,421 people attended the fair at the Paso Robles Event Center from July 16 to 27, organizers announced.

About 76,200 people attended the fair's concerts — nearly 8,500 more people than in 2013.

“We went on sale early and stayed ahead of numbers, offering a diverse genre in our lineup,” Robertson said.

Country acts also attracted bigger crowds this year, Robertson said, with the top two best-selling concerts being Florida Georgia Line and the Zac Brown Band.

The Junior Livestock Auction and Replacement Heifer Sale also saw an increase for the fifth year in a row. The auction and sale brought in more than $2.1 million, up about 4 percent from 2013.

Fairgoers again topped $1 million on what they spent on concessions, with vendors tallying more than $1.1 million in sales — an $80,000-plus gain over last year.

The carnival produced $500,000 in revenue — the same as last year and the year prior.

A few departments in the fair’s exhibit entries, however, saw slight declines over 2013.

The fair’s still exhibit category — which showcases individuals’ talents in categories such as arts, crafts and plant-growing — had about 500 fewer entries this year compared to last.

California’s third straight year of drought — and folks’ water conservation — likely contributed, Robertson said.

The trend was most evident in the fewer cut flowers and vegetables that were entered compared to previous years, “which is understandable,” Robertson said.

New to the fair this year was a fresh entryway at the Main Grandstand, a new restroom and special exhibits to celebrate the California State Parks’ 150th anniversary and the city of Paso Robles 125th anniversary.

The 2015 California Mid-State Fair will run July 22 to Aug. 2.