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Everyone's Guilty Summer Pleasure

The Fortress Secure Team | August 24, 2023 @ 12:00 AM

What do Tim McGraw, a giant yellow Ferris wheel, a tractor parade, and deep-fried Oreos have in common? A little something called the California Mid-State Fair. The Central Coast is a treasure trove of fun and excitement year-round, but without a doubt, one of its true gems is “The Biggest Little Fair Anywhere!”

Every year, throngs of fairgoers descend upon Paso Robles for the summer event. This year, from July 19-30th, visitors will be treated to concerts headlined by a few of the nation’s favorite musical artists, test their limits with dare-to-try carnival rides, indulge in deliciously so-bad-it’s-good-for-you foods, and take in some healthy competition, from Home Brewing and Winemaking to Salsa Making, from Floral Arranging to Fine Arts, from Best Themed Decorated Cake to the Best Apple Pie, and so much more.

Taking to the Main Grandstand Arena stage for the Michelob ULTRA Concert Series are some music industry powerhouses, including McGraw, Lauren Daigle, Luke Bryan, Pitbull, Sammy Hagar, and the B-52’s. The Frontier and Mission Square Stages are pleased to collectively present a fan fave lineup, including Iam Tongi, this year’s American Idol winner, The Molly Ringwald Project, Scotty McCreery, A Flock of Seagulls, and Ben Haggard.  Tickets for Grandstand concert tickets may be purchased online at, and concerts held on the Frontier and Mission Square stages are free.


While locals love their music, they also take their rodeos and livestock seriously here on the Central Coast. The Wrangler Country Rodeo promises to delight fans with popular events, including Match Roping, Barrel Racing, Team Penning, and Double Mugging. The fun continues with 4-H and FFA shows. Visit the fair site for scheduling and ticket information.

Fairs wouldn’t be fairs without food! Sure, there will be corn dogs, nachos, burgers, hot dogs, chili, and kettle corn, and then there will be FAIR food! You know, the kind of food you’d prefer to inhale in the privacy of your closet. We’re talking deep-fried cheesecake, Twinkies, and Snickers, and of course, funnel cakes and our local, ever-popular Old West Cinnamon Rolls dripping in icing. Alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase as well.

Upon entering the fairgrounds, the aromas of these sinfully good treats will overtake your senses from all directions. But now, the age-old question…do you thrill seekers succumb to your cravings before or after you bravely tackle the carnival’s Spinning Coaster, Avenger, or Medusa? For those perhaps less adventurous souls with tamer tastes in carnival rides, there’s the Grand Carousel as well as the uber fun booth games, including Goldfish (every parent’s dream), Ring Toss, and Balloon Pop. Looking to cool off with a little water fun and excitement? Hop into a log and get ready for twists and turns, all leading to the…wait for it…Big Splash! Best of all, opening day attendees get to try out the carnival rides for free after 4:00 p.m.

The California Mid-State Fair has so much to offer that this information barely scratches the surface. For ticket and parking information as well as a complete list of attractions, events, food, contests, demonstrations, and more, please visit 

The Fortress Secure Team
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