After a year of absence, the fair and the exhibition of Santa Barbara return to Santa Barbara | Local News
You’ve probably seen it before.
The imposing Ferris wheel hangs at Earl Warren Showgrounds. Like a dove holding a leaf in its mouth after the flood, the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and carousel are now visible from Highway 101, a sign that the pandemic is about to end and we can all benefit from it. Santa Barbara Fair & Expo once again.
“This year’s fair is Santa Barbara County’s first major community event,” said Ben Sprague, CEO of Earl Warren Showgrounds. “We are very honored to welcome our community to what will be a historic event. Our entry is free and our carnival is normal in size. Expect all the traditional carnival foods, a lively beer garden, an expanded children’s carnival, local bands, and more. “
The pandemic forced the cancellation of the Fair and Expo last year, dealing a severe blow to the fairgrounds, which depend heavily on the event’s annual revenues.
The fair is the fairgrounds largest financial event, grossing around $ 250,000 per year. In recent years, the fairground has experienced financial difficulties, so holding the fair is essential to its financial success.
The Fairgrounds is one of Santa Barbara’s most expensive institutions, a home for Fiesta Rodeo events, shows and exhibits inside Warren Hall, and a variety of live entertainment events, Mariachi groups and country groups to mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
The fair’s last minute lineup, however, forced the postponement or cancellation of a Santa Barbara County Riding Club horse show that was scheduled that week. Sprague said the fairgrounds are trying to come up with a new set of dates for the horse show.
The fair is usually held in April, but Showgrounds was able to partner with Butler Events to find the time on the last weekend in June. Governor Gavin Newsom reopened the California economy to major events on June 15.
Sprague said that “people can expect an incredible fair”, with a life-size carnival and traditional fairground food.
There will be an expanded children’s carnival which, according to Sprague, “will be very, very normal.”
Among the traditional features of the fair that will not be there this year are the cattle and the exhibits.
Entrance to the show is free this year.
Customers can purchase unlimited running bracelets for $ 30 for each day of the carnival. Regular ticket prices for the rides will be $ 1, $ 23 for 25 rides and $ 70 for 80 tickets.
Masks are not mandatory for people who have been vaccinated. The games will also be back, at typical prices.
Sean Butler, owner of Butler Amusements, said he promises a safe and fun experience.
“We will be disinfecting halfway through the day and all employees will be wearing masks,” Butler said. “We added more spacing between rides to give everyone space for social distancing. We also expanded the kids’ area to provide more kids rides as well as more space for social distancing. It will be an unforgettable year at the fair. ”
Days and times of the fair:
»Wednesday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Carnival open until 10 p.m.)
»Thursday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Carnival open until 10 p.m.)
»Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Carnival open until midnight)
»Saturday: 11 am to 10 pm (Carnival open until midnight)
»Sunday: 11 am to 9 pm (Carnival open until 10 pm)