My neighbor says “It’s like living in the country just five minutes from the city”. It is so true; the area we live in is quiet and serene, yet I back out of my driveway go down the hill about a half-mile to 13th street, cross the Salinas River Bridge and in five minutes I am in downtown Paso Robles, population about 30,000. Out of many parks in the city, The Paso Robles Downtown City Park, with its gazebo and well kept grass and trees is the center of attention. Businesses in the area advertise on television and radio as “across the street from the park” or “facing the park” or “just down the street from the park” and feel comfortable not giving out an address.
Wine Country Cattle Drive
The region is known as wine country but with so many grape growing promotions taking place throughout the year, the eleven days beginning July 21, 2011 are set aside for the California Mid-State Fair. This yearly extravaganza starts off with a cattle drive that passes by our neighborhood only two blocks from our home. Around nine or ten in the morning, we walk down to the corner and wait for the cattle drive. Sooner or later coming our way, we see some magnificently groomed horses drawing original or beautifully restored wagons with local celebrities, plus Miss Mid-State Fair and her court waving to the small crowd. Behind them, here come the cattle, clomping down Union Avenue with volunteer cowboys and cowgirls on horses keeping them in reign as they head for the livestock pens down at the fairgrounds – the arrival of the cattle is the formal ‘start’ of the fair. It’s quite a neighborhood get-together.
It is estimated that the population of our city more than doubles during events such as the Fair. One of the reasons for this is the who’s who in entertainment brought forth by the committees in charge of this event. There are headliners such as the Steve Miller Band with Burton Cummings leading and singers such as Tanya Tucker on the free stage; “An Evening of Wine and Music” on the main stage with the group Chicago plus many more famous pop, rock and country singers; a rodeo of championship riders and ropers including bull riders from the Professional Bull Riders Association (PBRA); the 4-H Club livestock exhibits and judging, art and garden exhibits; and of course, every kind of food you can think of along with our famous wine tasting booths and acres of the usual amusement rides.
The popularity of the Fair is amazing; it brings visitors from across the U.S. to our restaurants, hotels, motels and wine country bed-and-breakfasts. It’s a chance for our quiet little town to let its hair down for eleven days. We love it and it’s fun while it’s here… but, it is always nice to get back to: “living in the country just five minutes from the city”.
Source – Mid State Fair