The struggle of parking during the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles has carried over into 2022.
This weekend marks the final days of the fair, with large crowds expected for Saturday and Sunday.
“It's always been a challenge for parking since we’re only 45 acres,” said California Mid-state Fair CEO Colleen Bojorquez. “There's only so much we can do. Our parking lot across the street is what is our state property that we are in charge of. And then, of course, everything on the fairgrounds.”
The options for parking are not limited to what is visible on and around the fairgrounds.
“We have a contract with our bus company so that they can provide stops where you can park at Lowes, City Hall, and Albertson's and get shuttled in,” said Bojorquez.
The shuttle service was not the simplest service to set up for the fair.
“This year, it was a little bit more of a challenge as bus drivers are really hard to find throughout the state,” said Bojorquez.
For those choosing to drive to the fair, options outside of the fairgrounds include paying for parking in front of homes and businesses.
“In here it is very limited,” said Luis Leal, a Paso Robles resident. “People are frustrated about not being able to park here and they have to go far away to go to park.”
“The main parking for the fair fills up almost immediately,” said Sami Williams, a Paso Robles resident. “As soon as it opens, it's filled up. Having places that open up their parking lots to have a place to park, I feel like it really helps.”
For those owning the spots, it is a significant opportunity to make extra cash.
“It's positive for the community, for the people that come in and support us to do the parking spaces,” said Leal.
“We come up here to Luis every year,” said Tim Voss, a Santa Maria resident. “We've been reserving spots with him for probably close to the ten years that he's been around.”
“I've been doing this since I was a kid,” said Reilly Bernal, a Paso Robles resident. “A big part of the profit I get from this goes to my college education. “
Multiple people said the alternative options of parking have made access to the fair easier.
“Everybody knows it's the fair and parking is a nightmare,” said Voss. “My wife is somewhat disabled and can't walk so I can drop her off. I come up here and park and it's half a block to the fairgrounds. You can't argue with that.”
People are encouraged to take the shuttles available during the final days of the fair.
Those driving to the fair, are encouraged to show up early.
For bus routes to the fair, click here.