This year, The Man and Z. attended the official kickoff for the fair - a cattle drive through the streets of Paso Robles. They rode their bicycles and followed behind the fifty heads of cattle, wagons, and all manner of folk on horseback. The route was three miles to the fair grounds: six minutes via car, a couple of hours if you're following behind cattle and horses.
Of the many multi-aged "cowboys and cowgirls" on horseback, only about a dozen were professional cattle wranglers. This was in evidence when a few feisty cows decided to make their own way to the fair grounds. At one point, getting a little too up close and personal with Z. and The Man.
(Psst: If the video doesn't work, all I know is when I post a picture, a video, or publish a post I just click and click. Where it goes or how it works is beyond me. Sorry.)
The following week, The Man and I stopped by in the late afternoon for a free concert. The Mid-State Fair has a Headliner group or event (Monster Trucks! Rodeo!) - with an added ticket price - but there's also excellent entertainment on the "free" stages. (Back in the 80's & 90's you could've caught Johnny Cash on the free stage. Darn it, we wish we had.) On the weekend, there are five stages rockin' and rollin' and only one is not free.
Anyway, we went to see a band from Austin, Texas called Reckless Kelly. We didn't recognize the name of the band but when we heard them play we did recognize several of their original songs. Later, in the evening we stopped by the Frontier Stage again for the end of their second show. They were excellent.
The Mid-State Fair embodies summer around here: hot, free, fun. Next year I'm looking forward to attending the Cattle Drive and will make sure to get off from work. And, if we take our bicycles I'm going to make sure to keep my bike helmet on the whole time. Just in case we encounter a few frisky cattle.