News Releases

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds/Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation/Ag History Project:  Long ago, around 1885,  home-loving and farm-loving Santa Cruz County citizens combined their first efforts to produce what has become the Santa Cruz County Fair and Horse Show. This elaborate fair has been at its present location along Hecker Pass Road (the present East Lake Avenue) since 1941. 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.” These days, in addition to providing endless amounts of family fun, during almost every nationally declared disaster, the Fairgrounds have become the county’s safe place for people, animals and community services. 2020 stretched the County Fairgrounds staff and all-volunteer foundation board to new levels of community engagement. During times of need, the Fairgrounds becomes a hub of services for everything from wildfire evacuees and their farm animals to providing a one-stop place for COVID-19 testing, to a vaccination clinic. In addition, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds:

Contact: Kaleena Mornard
Direct Line: 831-786-9698

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2020

Community Groups Sought for Holiday Lights 2020

Sponsorships are also available

Watsonville, CA – The Agricultural History Project and the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Foundation have joined to present the first Holiday Lights Adventure at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Visitors will experience this first ever event from the warmth and safety of their vehicles.

Holiday Lights 2020 will light up the Fairgrounds with an extravagant display of holiday cheer along a half mile route. After this visual feast the journey ends with drive though food booths. An estimated 20,000 visitors may visit during this inaugural run and sponsorships are available. Sponsorship information is available on the Fairgrounds Foundation website fairgrounds-foundation.org

Community groups are encouraged to set up decorated booths along the route with generous cash prizes for the most extraordinary displays of holiday lights.
Community booth information and entry forms are available on the Fairgrounds Foundation website fairgrounds-foundation.org or by contacting Kaleena Mornard at (831) 786-9698.

Holiday Lights 2020 will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from November 27 through December 27 between 5:30 and 9:30 PM. Closed Christmas Day. Tickets are available at fairgrounds-foundation.org and priced at $15 per vehicle in advance, $20 at the gate.

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Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2020

“2020 Santa Cruz County Fair Remains Hopeful”

Watsonville, CA – Santa Cruz County Fair Manager David Kegebein observes that a report on the demise of the 2020 Fair is premature. “We would love to hold a Fair this September and, as of now, still plan to do so. But we are also realistic and waiting for guidance from county and state officials. I expect a final decision will come in early summer.”

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Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2019

“Opening Day Ceremonies About Remembering and Appreciating”

A First Ever “Quilts of Valor”
Presentation Just Prior to Noon Opening

Watsonville, CA – The Santa Cruz County Fair opens its gates at noon on Wednesday, September 11, 2019. This year’s 9-11 opening recalls that fateful day in 2001 when the Fair was also set to open. It is fitting that Santa Cruz County’s first ever Quilt of Valor will be presented to a retired veteran as part of the opening ceremonies.

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