Fair for everyone

San Benito County tradition underway for 96th year

Hollister locals have learned the telltale signs of the town’s events. 

So when they catch a glimpse of trailers hauling livestock or hay bales, or hear the squeals from kids who’ve seen carnival rides driving on Airline Highway, most locals know it can only mean one thing—the San Benito County Fair is in town.

This year’s fair is appropriately themed “Sew It, Grow It, Show It,” and promises to bring the same family entertainment, exhibitions, horticulture and livestock it has for almost a century.

It kicked off its 96th year last weekend with its Horse Show; the Cutting Show, Stock Horse Show, Junior Rodeo and Ranch Rodeo. The 4-H and FFA Horse Show and Open Horse Show also took place on Sunday. 

The fair and carnival will open to the general public on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 3 p.m., running until Sunday, Oct. 6. And parents will delight in knowing an extra free day for kids has been added this year.  

“Kids 12 and under are free on Thursday and Sunday,” said CEO and SBC Fair Manager Dara Tobias. “The free Sunday is new this year.”

While all ages will enjoy the amusement of the carnival, the fair will also offer a bit of everything for the public. 

Performances such as Twinkle Time, Chainsaw Carving, DangerMagik and All Alaskan Racing Pigs will delight all ages. And local musicians will be taking the Main Stage; Aaron Avila and the Second Wind on Friday, and Soul Kiss on Saturday. Mr. O’s Jazz Band will also be taking the Patio Stage on Saturday.

Local performing arts organizations such as San Benito Stage Company, Yamamoto Hula Ohana and Animation Dance Academy will be taking the Main Stage on Saturday. Daily grounds entertainment and attractions will also be given throughout each day with Puzzlemania – STEM for Kids and Barnyard Buddies & Barnyard Adventures. For those looking for more action, motorsport events will be taking place on Friday and Saturday. 

Guests can also peruse the Pavilion to find booths from local organizations and businesses, and check out where local entries placed in such divisions as food, clothing, crafts and art. 

And of course, corraled 4-H and FFA entries outside in the barnyard can be scoped out, as well.

The SBC Fair is located at the Bolado Park Event Center, SBC Fairgrounds at 9000 Airline Hwy in Tres Pinos. The fair will be open Oct. 3, 3-9 p.m.; Oct. 4-5, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Oct. 6, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. 

Thursday is Kids’ Day (12 and under free), Friday is Senior Day (seniors 62 and older are free), Saturday is Military Appreciation Day (free admission with military ID, active duty or veteran), and Sunday is Community Cultural Day and Kids’ Day (12 and under are free). 

For information, call the fair office at 831.628.3421 or visit sanbenitocountyfair.com.

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