A new group of Santa Barbarans is forming a group to raise money for updates at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The Earl Warren Showgrounds Foundation has established a goal to raise $1.2 million to work on the 50-year-old site off of Las Positas near Highway 101.
The showgrounds don’t receive any tax dollars to support operations, but gathers its income entirely from rentals, exhibitions and competitions hosted there. The Showgrounds hosts a variety of events over the course of the year, from flower, dog, cat and horse shows, to meetings, concerts, weddings, reunions and other social events. The largest event is the Santa Barbara Fair and Expo, which in 2007 saw more than 50,000 visitors. “Our showgrounds have served the community well for a long time now,” said Foundation President Kevin Snow in a statement.
The goal is to raise the money quickly, so that initial work can be done between the Santa Barbara National Amateur Horse Shoe in November and the National Horse Show next July. The Foundation will be approaching public and businesses communities with programs to generate the capital for the project. “This group has come together at a critical time for the showgrounds,” Earl Warren CEO Scott Grieve said in a statement. “We have this window in our schedule and plans so far are right on target. The initital upgrades will attract the type of equine events that can help insure a solid future.”
Some of the improvements include upgrades to two existing arenas and constructing a new regulation-size ring and warm-up area, with new drainage, booths, fencing and a sound system.