SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Hundreds of local agriculture students from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties helped kick off the 130th Annual Santa Barbara County Fair with the start of the Junior Livestock Show on Monday morning.
While the fair doesn’t officially open to the public until Wednesday, July 12, the event is now essentially underway with the beginning of this longtime tradition.
The livestock show has long served as the backbone of the county fair, an event where local agricultural students show and auction a variety of animals they have raised over the past several months.
The Junior Livestock Show helps educate students on the value and importance of the agricultural industry, which is vital to the economic vitality of the Santa Maria Valley and surrounding areas.
Last year marked the first in-person Junior Livestock Show in three years following the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the number of students and animals was down from previous years.
However this year, there has been a significant increase, returning to totals similar to pre-pandemic years.
On Monday, all students will have their animals weighed. Tuesday will mark the beginning of the marketplace show for swine, sheep, goats and other small animals, while the beef showmanship will start later in the week.
The livestock show and auction culminates with the auction, which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
The 130th Annual Santa Barbara County Fair runs July 12-16. For more information, click here.