Staff Report

For five fun-filled days in July, thousands of people celebrated “Cowboys and Carousels” at the Santa Barbara County Fair during long summer days filled with rides, food and other attractions, and cool nights spent dancing and listening to outdoor concerts.

Of course, the biggest activities for local youth are the 4-H and FFA livestock competitions. This year’s Santa Ynez Valley winners included:

  • Eddie Munoz, Los Alamos Grange, 4-H Hampshire Reserve Breed Winner
  • Summer Fanning, Lucky Clover 4-H, 4-H Yorkshire Breed Winner
  • Grant Solem, Lucky Clover 4-H, 4-H All Black Reserve Breed Winner and 4-H Reserve Champion Steer
  • Liana Erenberg, Santa Ynez 4-H, 4-H Reserve Champion Market Goat
  • Charlie Hollister, Los Alamos Grange, 4-H Champion Heifer and 4-H Local Bred Champion Heifer
  • Grace Morell, Lucky Clover 4-H, 4-H Reserve Champion Heifer
  • Ruth Beckmen, Lucky Clover 4-H, 4-H Reserve Local Bred Champion Heifer

While official numbers are not yet in, attendance was comparable to previous years, and carnival sales were up over last year, fair officials said. The fair typically draws more than 150,000 people.

Highlights of the fair included evening performances by Smash Mouth, Trace Adkins, Kool and the Gang, and Sheila E.

Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein, Fables of the West, the Beastie Creatures, and Something Ridiculous kept audiences entertained as they strolled throughout the grounds.

The Live Shark Experience gave audiences a closeup look at nurse sharks, along with some educational facts. The Cowboys and Calliopes interactive exhibit gave families insight into the sounds that opossums, hedgehogs, peacocks and porcupines make — and a chance to see them close up.

Chef Landry’s Cajun Comedy Kitchen packed shows with the chef’s hilarious stories and samples of jambalaya and gumbo.

For more information, visit or follow the Santa Maria Fairpark on Facebook.