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Jun 24, 2021

Welcome to the County Fair Podcast! This is the podcast where fair influencers share their valuable insights, strengthening and growing the long-lived tradition of the county fair.


This week, Ricky Brown from the California Mid-State Fair joins the podcast! Ricky is one of the exhibit’s directors for the large west coast fair. In his role, he primarily oversees the entry, registration, and judging of competitive exhibits, beverage competitions, and commercial competitions.


What makes the California Mid-State Fair so unique is that they have grown well beyond the core aspects of many other similarly-sized county fairs. They go beyond agriculture and livestock entries into beverage, fine arts, crafts, food, floriculture, and more.


In this conversation, Ricky speaks about the fair and shares how they persevered during the pandemic, moved to a hybrid online model, and hosted their unique exhibits and competitions. He also shares marketing advice, tips, and strategies for fair managers looking to maximize their entry numbers in any category, advice and lessons learned over the course of the pandemic, and other key takeaways from his involvement in the fair.


Topics of Discussion:

[:00] About the County Fair Podcast.

[:19] This show is brought to you by ShoWorks.

[:40] Today’s scripture.

[:59] About today’s episode with Ricky Brown.

[1:12] Jeffrey welcomes Ricky to the podcast!

[1:22] Ricky reflects on the vast size of the California Mid-State Fair.

[2:07] The divisions of the fair that Ricky primarily focuses on in his role as a director.

[3:33] About the more unique exhibits and competitions at the California Mid-State Fair such as the beverage competitions.

[6:39] Lessons that the California Mid-State Fair has learned over the course of this tumultuous year and what they will be taking with them going forward.

[10:34] What goes into the judging of these unique competition entries (such as beverages, olive oil, etc)?

[16:08] How have the competition entry volumes been impacted during COVID vs. now?

[21:22] About ShoWorks.

[21:41] Ricky shares marketing tips, advice, and techniques for fair managers looking to maximize their entry numbers in any category.

[26:14] Ricky shares about his involvement with the prizes and awards for each competition division, and what these awards look like.

[32:05] Ricky shares lessons that he and those who are a part of the California Mid-State Fair have learned over 2020-2021 that they will carry with them through 2022 and beyond.

[36:49] Jeffrey thanks Ricky for joining the podcast!


Mentioned in this Episode:

California Mid-State Fair


The County Fair is Brought to You By ShoWorks

ShoWorks’ fair entry software has set the gold standard for fairs across the United States and Canada for more than 20 years, serving more than 75% of the country’s fairs. ShoWorks is in place to handle fair entries, billing, payouts, and the incorporation of virtual elements into your show and auction. Visit to learn more!


God Moment

Jesus said to them, “The times and occasions are set by my Father’s own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be.” – Acts 1:7


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