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California Mid-State Fair vendors facing challenges after 2020 event is canceled

California Mid-State Fair vendors facing challenges after 2020 event is cancelled
Posted at 11:31 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 07:34:43-04

According to a member of the fair board, the total financial contribution in 2015 of the California Mid-State Fair to the area's economy, not just the city, was about $80 million.

That number gives a glimpse into the impact the fair has on the area, and the cancellation also affects some of the fair's mainstay vendors and employees.

"In the past, we've done about 60-to-70-percent of our year sales in those 12 days," said Don Idler, Idler's Home president.

"Well it's a year off," said JG King, SeaVenture Bar concessionaire. "Obviously we don't get to serve anyone at the fair this year; it's our first time in 20 years." King runs two of the largest concert concessions inside the main grandstand area of the Mid-State fair.

With the event's concerts now canceled that means King won't be able to provide more than 50 jobs to people in the community.

"We had a staff of probably 60 people working the fair for those twelve days every year," said King. "It's a hardship for them certainly; it's disappointing but it's time to be safe right now."

Each year the Califiornia Mid-State Fair helps the city and economy of Paso Robles -- both inside and outside of the fair gates. With transient occupancy tax for visitors staying in hotels, sales tax from visitors shopping in the city, and a significant amount of people being employed by the fair, losing the event is a big loss.

As the city and fair vendors are now left without one of their busiest times of the year, companies are looking for other options to try to make up for potential losses.

"We're planning more parking lot events for the summer to help compensate or make up the difference for what we'd be losing at the fair," said Idler.

Vendors who have a signed contract and who have paid the minimum deposit for this year's fair, can either apply the full payment to the 2021 Mid-State Fair or request a full refund.