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Local Tip: California Mid-State Fair

July 17, 2022

Nothing says summertime in Paso Robles like the California Mid-State Fair, July 20 – 31. We are dreaming of hot summer days and warm nights at the fair.

The California Mid-State Fair opened in 1946 and runs for 12 days at the end of July.  12 days of cowboy boots, carnival rides, concerts, and munching on a corn dog while strolling down the midway.

So, dust off your belt buckle, grab your cowboy hat, and round up your friends for a Mid-State Fair adventure! Here are tips to make the most of your fair experience.

Put on your dancing shoes

The Fair has hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry. Artists such as Garth Brooks, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Journey, Rod Stewart, Fergie, Justin Bieber, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, and Zac Brown Band have all performed on the main stage. The 2022 music acts include Journey, Darius Rucker, Old Dominion, Santana,  Dan + Shay, Los Tigres del Norte, Kane Brown, and John Fogerty. You can also rock out to music on the free stage at the Frontier Stage and Mission Square. Buy concert tickets here. Tip: If there during the day, you might be able to hear the soundcheck while strolling the fairgrounds.

Grab a bite

Corn dogs, funnel cake, deep-fried Twinkies, turkey legs, garlic fries, soft pretzels, fried pickles, and corn on the cob are just a few of the delicious fair foods that you can feast on. Calories don’t count when you’re at the fair, so make sure to enjoy all of the sweet, salty, and greasy offerings that can be found. Tip: the freshest (dipped to order) corn dogs are from Hotdog on a Stick located on the main drag just across from the hot pretzel stand.

Midway magic

The carnival takes you back to childhood with TWO separate carnival areas: the traditional carnival area, plus the Cub Country, a carnival dedicated to toddlers and young children. Tip: you can request a big splash on the log flume and then dry off (you will be soaked) with a spin on the flying swings. Then try your luck at the carnival games and take home the giant teddy bear you always wanted.

Break out your belt buckle

Be sure to stop by the animal pavilions which house FFA and 4H’s livestock the second week of the fair. Many livestock shows and competitions happen during the 12-day period. Don’t forget to get your tickets for the annual Country Rodeo Finals on July 30. Tip: The FFA and 4H junior livestock auction is a blast, held the final weekend, where you can bid on pigs, lamb, and steer and support our local kids.

Don't forget the wine!

Each year the best wine on the Central Coast is presented and judged at the Central Coast Wine Competition.  Those winners are featured at the walk-around Gold Medal Wine Tasting. Feel like you’re part of the industry by attending the SLO County Wine Awards, honoring the year’s top winery, winemaker, winegrape grower, and wine industry person of the year, held the first Friday at Mission Square. Tip: Stop at 15C Wine Bar at Mission Square for local wines by the glass and our favorite fair treat, Frosé! We hope to see you at the Fair! For more information, visit midstatefair.com.

All CA Mid-State Fair photo credit: Brittany App