Ole! It's fiesta time as California Mid-State Fair opens in Paso Robles

Annual 12-day event runs through July 29

Ole- Its fiesta time as California MidState Fair opens in Paso Robles

It's fiesta time at the California Mid-State Fair.

"We're having a great party here," said California Mid-State Fair CEO Michael Bradley. "We're calling it Ole! It's Fiesta Time, so it will be 12 action packed days."

The popular annual event officially opened its gates on Wednesday afternoon.

"We are expecting everyone to get their corn dog and cinnamon roll and all the special food that is out here. We have plenty of programs for the kids too, so everybody come out and enjoy," said Bradley.

Running through July 29, the fair is expected to welcome more than 400,000 visitors.

For those who take in the action at the Paso Robles Event Center, they'll experience many of the fair traditional attractions, such as top-name concerts, thrill rides, mouth-watering food and drinks, art exhibits, commercial vendors and much more.

There is also a number of new attractions as well.

In Frontier Town, the fair has introduced a "Showcase of Cities." The new exhibit features window displays from each San Luis Obispo County city and community. 

"I really love it," said fair goer Kathy Hartnell. "I think it's great to highlight each of the local city's and it kind of give a little bit of a flavor of each city."

Over the course of the fair, visitors will be able to vote which display they feel is best. The winning entry receives the "People's Choice Award."

"I think it's cool," said Hartnell. "I like that. Public input in always good."

At the carnival, the fair has brought in the "Star Tower." The attraction is listed as the tallest fair swing ride in the United States.

"It goes 110 feet into the air," said Bradley. "You start in a little seat at the ground level and go 110 feet and swing around and have the time of your life."

The Edna Valley Barn will host a career fair for the first time ever. It will feature technical trade occupations.

Bradley said it's the first career fair he's ever heard held at a fair.

"It has great exposure," said Mike Fontes, Cuesta College welding instructor. "This is the best exposure you can get. We get people from the valley coming over here, we get north and sound, so it's a great exposure for our school and our career technical trades."

Fontes said visitors at the Cuesta College booth will receive information about classes and industry. They'll also get some hands-on instruction as well.

"They get to weld," Fontes said. "They get to spark the arc. They get to burn and learn. Nothing better than getting in there and using a piece of equipment and actually learning something."

As usual, the fair features a concert lineup unrivaled by any fair of its size nationwide.

While Garth Brooks is not performing this year after selling out two shows last year in record time, there is still an amazing array of A-list talent.

"Garth was a great program for us last year and we were very blessed with that, but this year, we have a record that has never been set at the fair before," said Bradley. "We have two sellout concerts by two different artists in the same year, that's never happened before with Luke Bryan as well as Eric Church."

Other performers scheduled for the Chumash Grandstand Arena include Pitbull, Dwight Yoakam, Demi Lavato, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, ZZ Top and KC and the Sunshine Band.

In addition, there are several free acts performing daily as well, including Los Lonely Boys, Crystal Gayle, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Kris Kristofferson.

The California Mid-State Fair runs July 18-July 29.

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