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2022 California Mid-Winter Fair to be outdoors

-Editorial

Due to COVID uncertainties, including state regulations for “mega-events,” this year’s California Mid-Winter Fair will look a bit different.

But plans are for a complete event that will open Friday, March 4, and run through Sunday, March 13. The major concession to the pandemic: all of the fair will be outside and buildings will be closed.

In view of COVID restrictions, “it made sense to divert our energy and resources out of the buildings and focus on having an excellent outdoor event,” said the Fair’s Chief Executive Officer Alan Phillips.

The decision was made Wednesday by the 45th District Agriculture Association (Fair) Board.

The outdoor portion of the fair will look typical. There will be a large midway; there will be a complete Junior Livestock program; High School Madness is being planned, and the Heritage Foundation is working on multiple days of racing and other “dirt” events. There also will be traditional grounds acts, including the popular hypnotist Suzie Haner.

But buildings will be closed.       

Driving the decision are the state’s rules regarding mega-events, or large gatherings, which include fairs, that were issued January 15.

One other major change for this year: there will not be any special presale tickets but fair goers will have an opportunity to purchase tickets online only beginning February 25. Prices for tickets have also been reduced to $8 for adults; $6 for children and seniors. Tickets also will be sold at the gates during the fair for those prices.

Even with the limitations caused by the closed buildings, the 2022 fair will be much more complete than 2021 which saw only a livestock grading show and a drive-through-only “Fair Food Festival.”

The 2020 California Mid-Winter Fair was the final full fair held in California before COVID-19 restrictions prohibited public gatherings that March, the week after the fair’s final day.

“As we finalize plans for this year’s fair, we are doing our best to accommodate some commercial vendors outdoors and are looking at whether or how we can display other exhibits,” Phillips said.  “We ask the public to bear with us as we, once again, pioneer new ground in this COVID atmosphere.”

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