California Mid-State Fair reports successful year

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

–Two sold-out concerts featuring Eric Church and Luke Bryan, plus an increase in the Junior Livestock Auction highlighted a super-fun and super-hot 2018 California Mid-State Fair. With multiple new activities, demonstrations and special events, the 2018 California Mid-State Fair was enjoyed by young and old alike.

Bud Light Concert Series

For the first time in the history of the fair, two shows featuring two different artists “sold out” in the same year. Both the Eric Church concert on July 21 and the Luke Bryan concert on July 26 “sold out.” All in all, more than 78,000 tickets were sold to the 2018 Bud Light Concert Series. Other top-selling shows were Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Pitbull, ZZ Top, Demi Lovato, Dwight Yoakam and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

Livestock Auctions

Revenue from the 2018 livestock auctions increased 5-percent compared to last year with a total of $2,608,535 on 871 animals being raised (with Add-Ons, unofficial). Of that, $405,350 came from the Replacement Heifer Sale and $2,203,185 came from the Junior Livestock Auction.

Industrial Arts Auction

A total of 61 entries qualified for auction this year, with the overall money being raised for the kids reaching an all-time record of $100,825. Over $500,000 has been brought in since the auction began over 20 years ago.

Overall Attendance

Total attendance (unofficial) stayed virtually identical from 2017. While official ticket counts will take several weeks to calculate, multiple days of the 2018 fair saw temperatures soar into triple digits, which obviously affects attendance.


Helm and Sons Amusements, Inc. of Colton, California generated $1,200,000 in total revenue, a 5% increase from 2017. Pre-sale carnival ride WOW pass coupons saw a 6.5% increase over 2017.


For the second consecutive year, revenue from corporate sponsorships exceeded the $1 million threshold, increasing a whopping 21% from 2017, to just over $1.2 million dollars.

Central Coast Wine Competition

The Central Coast Wine Competition named Paso Robles’ Cass Vineyard & Winery as the 2018 Winery of the Year. This is the second Winery of the Year award for Cass, which took home the same honor in 2015.

Best in Show went to Alara Cellars’ 2017 Grenache Blanc, sourced from San Benito County. The honor came after judges awarded it a Double Gold Medal and deemed it both Best in Class (Grenache Blanc) and overall Best White Wine. Alara’s win marks the first time a Grenache Blanc – a variety that has become a fixture of Central Coast wine – has ever been bestowed Best in Show in the competition’s 16-year history. There were nine total Grenache Blanc entries this year.

Best Red Wine was awarded to Cass Vineyard & Winery’s 2016 Mourvèdre. The Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the same wine. Best Pink Wine went to Opolo Vineyards 2017 Rosé. The Rosé from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class for the – Any Rosé Blends – category. Best Sparkling Wine was awarded to Laetitia Vineyard & Winery’s 2015 Brut Rosé. The same bubbles from the Arroyo Grande winery also claimed a Gold Medal, and was awarded Best in Class in the Méthode Champenoise category. Best Dessert Wine was awarded to Glunz Family Winery’s Mission Angelica. The wine from the Paso Robles winery also won a Gold Medal and was awarded Best in Class in the Fortified Wine category.

Central Coast Olive Oil Competition

Best of Show went to Rio Bravo Ranch (Bakersfield) and Molefina (Creston).

Central Coast Vinegar Competition

Best in Show went to Aris Vinegar’s Pomegranate Vinegar (Paso Robles).

California Craft Spirits Competition

Best of Show went to Re:Find’s Limoncello (Paso Robles).

Brewmaster of the Year

Brendan Gough, Head Brewer of Central Coast Brewing, was named Brewmaster of the Year at the first-ever Craft Beer Tasting Night & Awards.

San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards

Winegrape Grower of the Year, Randy Heinzen, Vineyard Professional Services; Winemaker of the Year, John Munch, Le Cuvier Winery; and Wine Industry Person of the Year (posthumously), Archie McLaren.

Agriculture Awards

Kurt Bollinger, Cattleman of the Year; Margaret Avila, CattleWoman of the Year; Marilyn Britton, Agriculturalist of the Year.

Country Rodeo

The All-Around Cowboy was John Varian (Parkfield)… the All-Around Cowgirl was Alison Grantham (Templeton)… and the Timed Event Cowboy was Chance Machado (Santa Maria).

Miss California Mid-State Fair

Ashley Davis of Paso Robles was crowned the 2018 Miss California Mid-State Fair. She is a 6th generation native of a local cattle ranching family and currently attends Cal Poly. First runner-up and Miss Congeniality went to 18-year-old Kimberly White of Oceano. Second runner-up was 19-year-old Codie Wilshusen of San Miguel.

Strongest Man and Woman Competition

1st Place winners were: Women/Lightweight, Deanna Flores… Women/Middleweight, Nadia Solis… Women/Heavyweight, Lindsey Hall… Men/Lightweight, Jared Miller… Men/Middleweight, Eric King… Men/Heavyweight, Josh Bonsworth.

Showcase of Cities

Ten communities, the County of San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly were showcased in a dynamic and animated display located in the very large showcase windows of the Frontier Pavilion in Frontier Town. The People’s Choice Award for best display went to the combined efforts of Oceano/Nipomo.

Other highlights

The Career Fair featuring Local Unions 104, 155, 403, 433 and 639 was a smashing success with apprentice programs explained to eager job-hunters… the VIP Hospitality Tent was an added bonus to sponsors and concert goers… singer and songwriting legend Kris Kristofferson played to two packed houses on the Frontier Stage… the “Hands On Farming, Joe Sabol Experience” featured the master teacher himself in all of his ‘Learn By Doing’ greatness… and finally, a record number of photography entries, more shaded areas, more flowers and more seating benches.

The 2019 California Mid-State Fair runs July 17 through July 28.


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