The 26th Annual Santa Barbara Fair and Expo
State fairs are more than just a great place to eat unhealthy food and walk until your feet hurt, they are an American cultural phenomenon! Since the 1840s, fairs of all sizes have been an important way to inform and educate people about our country’s agricultural heritage. While not at the scale of a state fair, Santa Barbara’s Annual Fair and Expo is a great version of this national tradition.
The 26th annual Santa Barbara Fair and Expo is coming to the Earl Warren Showgrounds from April 29th to May 3rd.
“Let’s Get Mooving”, this year’s theme, is consistent with the history of the expo as an agricultural event. At its core, the fair and expo is a way to promote and educate people on the rich agricultural history and culture of Southern California. Last year’s fair had about 50,000 attendees and we should expect the same this year.
This year’s fair is 5 days long. Here are the hours of operation by day:
- Wednesday and Thursday: 4pm-10pm
- Friday: 11am to midnight
- Saturday: 11am to 10pm
- Sunday: 11am to 10pm
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $5 for kids 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. Pre-sale tickets are available starting April 1st and are $6 for adults, free for seniors and kids 5 and under and $4 for kids 6-12. Wristbands for carnival rides are additional and run from $17-$27.
Fair and Expo Features
Like any fair, the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo will have the stereotypical cotton candy booths, elephant ear stands, games and rides you’d expect. What makes it stand out from though, is the local personality and talent showcased through various contests and exhibitions.
Exhibitions include both adult and youth categories, and showcase a wide variety of skills.
- Table Settings
- Arts and Crafts
- Baked Goods
- Sewing Clothing and Textiles
- Fine Arts
- HomeMade Beer and Wine
- Preserved Foods
Another great feature of the event is live demonstrations. These are a great opportunity to see how a certain skill is done and learn something new!
About Earl Warren Showgrounds
Originally founded as the home of the Santa Barbara National Horse and Flower show in 1950, Earl Warren Showgrounds has gone on to become the home of many different kinds of local events over the years.
The Showgrounds are nestled between The Santa Barbara Community Golf Course and Adams Elementary School off of Highway 101. (It features an off-track horse racing facility, livestock facilities and a 22,000 sq./foot exhibit hall. It’s address is 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara
Date: April 29-May 3
Time: Wednesday and Thursday 4pm-10pm, Friday 11pm to midnight, Saturday 11am to midnight, Sunday am to 10pm.
Location: Earl Warren Showgrounds
Contact: (805) 687-0766
Admission: Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $5 for kids 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under. Pre-sale tickets are available starting April 1st and are $6 for adults, free for seniors and kids 5 and under and $4 for kids 6-12.
WHERE TO STAY
Spanish Garden Inn
Santa Barbara’s finest luxury boutique hotel, located downtown. 915 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. 805-564-4700.