This year, thousands of people will be dancing with the steers at the Santa Cruz County Fair, beginning today at Noon. Fair Theme: “Dancing with the Steers for 200 Years”. Festivities will commence with our favorite pass time

Santa Cruz County Fair Opens Today

- food in Paddy Smith Park for a Farm Bureau BBQ from Noon until 3:00 p.m. This year’s theme, “Dancing with the Steers for 200 Years” sets the tone for a full line-up of horse shows for the week-long event. From roving robots to cowgirl tricks, this year’s fair intends to keep fair goers entertained from the moment they step through the gate.

Daily exhibitions include 4-H / FFA Goat Show, Farm Bureau Apple Pie Baking Contest, Alaskan Racing Pigs, and others. Unsuspecting fair goers are bound to find themselves clucking like chickens under master mind controller, Michael Mezmer’s hypnotic spells.

Horse show line-up begins at 3:00 p.m. today with Gabilan Cutter’s Inc. and continue throughout the event. Ranch classes, steer daubing, hunter-jumper shows, Shetland and open pony shows, and roper shows are just a few of the equine festivities on the menu.

Deep Fried Twinkies at Santa Cruz County Fair

And, speaking of menus, expect to find your favorite food stands, like Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls at the fair this year. Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls serves their home-made cinnamon rolls at 50 venues across California and Arizona every year. You’ll find everything from deep fried Twinkies to BBQ, and of course, ice cream.

Last year, more than 70,000 people attended the fair, and despite the weak economy, the fairgrounds have pulled out all the stops for its celebration of modern agricultural fairs in America.

Santa Cruz County Fair Entertainment Director, Read Zaro announed the main stage lineup for the 2011 Fair.  Zaro explained “We start with Rubber Biscuit, a salute to the Blues Brothers on Tuesday evening.  Wednesday remains country night with “Steve Holy” and on Thursday evening journey along on a return visit by “Antsy McClain & The Trailer Park Troubadours.”

Zaro continued “Friday night at the Fair imagine me and you and a packed house for ‘The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie.’  Saturday evening it is Peter Rivera, former drummer and lead singer for Rare Earth, bringing that same classic sound and energy to the Amphitheater Stage.”  In news that will surely please thousands of fans Zaro concluded “Pro Wrestling Revolution continues to be a huge hit and it returns to the Fair on Sunday.”

Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls

As is tradition, a ticket to the Fair is a ticket to all the shows.  Fans may want to arrive early each day to enjoy a summer afternoon of fun at the Fair before staking out their space in what will be standing room only crowds.

In 1885 home-loving and farm-loving Santa Cruz County citizens combined their first efforts to produce what has become Santa Cruz County Fair and Horse Show. This elaborate fair since 1941 has been at its present location along Hecker Pass Road (the present East Lake Avenue). The first agricultural county fair opened on October 16th in Folger’s Skating Rink, near the plaza in the center of Watsonville. Over the stage, spelled out in letters formed of apples, was the sign “Pajaro Valley Products”


Since then, Santa Cruz County has become one of the most famous agricultural counties in the West. The county’s horse-loving culture kicked off the new era in Santa Cruz County Fairs that continues to this day. The fair closes at 10:00 p.m. daily.

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.