Staff Report

The Western Fairs Association has honored the Santa Maria Fairpark with several achievement awards for the advertising materials for the Santa Barbara County Fair and Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival.

“We are thrilled to receive such recognition from our industry peers. No doubt we owe this achievement to our partnership with the terrific team at S. Lombardi & Associates and with our talented photographer Michael Collins. We’re honored to share these awards with them,” said Santa Maria Fairpark CEO Richard Persons.

The annual awards by WFA recognize fairs for outstanding achievement in a variety of areas of fair management and community outreach.

Because of strong attendance at the Fairpark’s biggest event, the Santa Barbara County Fair, this year the organization was placed into a higher competition category alongside large fairs, making the award an even bigger honor.

“We’re thrilled to have earned awards in these categories,” owner Steve Lombardi said. “We’re honored to be competing with much larger fairs and still achieving great awards.”

The fairpark and the advertising agency won first place in four advertising categories, second place in another, and third in five more.

In addition, photos by Collins — featuring kids enjoying a thrill ride and presenters giving audiences a demonstration at the Santa Barbara County Fair’s train exhibit — took second- and third-place honors.

The WFA is a nonprofit trade association that serves more than 800 members of the fair industry throughout the western United States and Canada.

For more information, visit or like the fairpark’s Facebook page.