The California Mid-State Fair opened in 1946 at the Paso Robles Event Center, and has been held in Paso Robles every summer since.
The fair is always a highlight of the summer for locals and visitors from around California who have come to expect to see some of the biggest names in music, eat some of the best fair food, and have a great time on the carnival rides.
Your experience at the Mid-State Fair will vary greatly depending on if you go during the day or at night.
The fair during the day is really laid back, there are hardly any lines for rides or food (or the bathroom!), and we easily found places to sit and relax. But it can be hot during the summer days in Paso Robles, so you’ll want to make sure and wear lots of sunscreen, take advantage of the cooling stations, and indulge in some ice cream!
At night the fair gets a lot more crowded (mostly because of the concerts happening), but it’s also a much cooler part of the day to be out in northern SLO County, and the rides are so much more fun at night!
See more below about all the fun you can have at the Mid-State Fair, and hope to see you there this year!
Music is always one of the biggest attractions for the California Mid-State Fair because they always manage to get some of the best and biggest names in the industry to play a show during the two-week event.
The main or “ticketed” shows are held in the Chumash Grandstand Arena, and seats approximately 14,600 (but each show will have their own configuration). Tickets still sell quickly, with artists like Garth Brooks shows selling out in seconds in 2018!
There are also daily free shows that take place on the Frontier Stage. These shows are first-come-first-serve, and this year saw acts like Smash Mouth, Kenny Taylor, and Bear Market Riot perform.
Throughout the fair you can also find smaller stages that feature local bands, usually near beer gardens or larger seating areas. These stages don’t always have an artist playing, but you can typically find music there at some point during the day.
Food & Drink
Fair food is just the best, and it does not disappoint at the California Mid-State Fair. In 2019 there were 85 different vendors selling a wide variety of food and drink from corn dogs and pizza to tri-tip, tacos, fried oreos, and funnel cake.
The majority of food vendors are lined up on the north half of the fairgrounds leading up to the animal barns and stables. Here you will find the stands selling food directly, with some also selling drinks.
Throughout the fair you can find beer and wine gardens hosted by local breweries and wineries, and can often find food to go with your drink at the same place.
There’s no thrill like a carnival ride, and California Mid-State Fair has lots for those who dared to ride them! From thrillers like Zipper, Vertigo, and Round Up, to classics like Happy Swings and The Big Wheel, there really was something for everyone, including your little one!
The fair recently added Cub Country, a new area of the fairgrounds just for kids. Here you’ll find rides like Turtle Races and the Bubba Bear Attraction along with Wild West Inflatable and Cub Country Fun House.
Separate tickets are required to ride any of the fair rides, and can be purchased at the fairgrounds the day of your visit.
Tips for the 2023 California Mid-State Fair
The fair will be held July 19 – 30, 2023
TICKETS | SEASON PASSES & GENERAL ADMISSION
Season Passes and General Admission Tickets to the Mid-State Fair are available for purchase through the Mid-State Fair Website.
Season Pass Pricing
Details Coming Soon!
General Admission Pricing
Details Coming Soon!
TICKETS | CONCERTS & EVENTS
The Mid-State Fair always hosts some incredible music acts, and attendees have lots of ways to enjoy the sights and sounds when attending the fair.
Music at the Frontier Stage, Mission Square, and The Silo are always included with the price of admission, but tickets to the shows on the main stage are sold separately.
This year music acts like Parker McCallum will be gracing the Michelob ULTRA Stage, and tickets are going fast! Additional music acts will be announced as the date nears, but in the meantime you can learn more about the shows and how to purchase your tickets here before the run out!
Parking is available at the California Mid-State Fair, but it is very limited and expense. The price is $20 per vehicle, and you can not park an RV. Most of the restaurants and residents within walking distance will also offer some type of parking, which you can see as you drive the approximate mile radius around the fairgrounds.
WHAT TO WEAR
The days are really hot, but the nights get cool so be prepared for both if you plan to go all day. This year we were able to keep light jackets in our bags, which we definitely needed once night fell. During the day our hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen were a must – we would have fried out there otherwise!
Parking at the fair is cash only, so right off the bat you need to have cash handy. Some vendors take cards but a lot do not, so having cash on hand will be important to have a good time at the fair. There are ATMs on site if you need to get more, but definitely plan on bringing enough for parking at a minimum before you get here.
DON’T BRING ANYTHING ELSE!
You can definitely bring the basics into the fair, like your phone, wallet, and sunglasses, but don’t expect to bring much else unless it’s totally necessary (like a baby stroller, wheelchair, walker, or service animal). No outside food or drink is allowed, nor are any weapons or drugs, and professional cameras are also not allowed unless you are registered as media. Expect to be searched before you enter the fair, and be ready to say goodbye to that sando if you try to sneak it in!
Contact & Social Media
Paso Robles Event Center
2198 Riverside Avenue
Paso Robles, CA 93446
P.O. Box 8
Paso Robles, CA 93447
(805) 269 – 0655