Mid-State Fair attendance drops, but organizers claim success

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

More than 220,000 visitors attended the California Mid-State Fair in its return following a year’s hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The total attendance this year was a little more than half that of the 2019 Mid-State Fair. Nonetheless, fair organizers say the event was a big success.

The 2021 fair lasted 12 days, spanning July 21through Aug. 1. Organizers needed to overcome various COVID-19 related hurdles, including the cancellation of a Bret Michaels concert because members of his entourage having been exposed to the coronavirus.

A total of more than 15,000 attendees bought concert tickets this year, a large decline from 2019, when the fair sold more than 76,000 concert tickets.

Livestock auctions raised $2.3 million in revenue this year. The industrial arts auction raised $102,000 from a total of 25 projects.

The Mid-State Fair carnival brought in more than $1.3 million in revenue, a slight increase from 2019. Additionally, a total of 70 sponsors combined contributed more than $800,000 in cash and non-monetary donations.

“What we saw this year was the absolute best in our community,” Interim Mid-State Fair CEO Colleen Bojorquez said in a statement. “From the attendance numbers to the money raised in support of our livestock exhibitors, I am literally speechless. ‘Thrilled’ and ‘grateful’ would be the two emotions I’m feeling right now at the community support of the fair.”