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Looking Back: County fair opens, Los Padres fires set record, outdoor theatre to open 

Excerpt from the Wednesday, August 24, 1950, Paso Robles Journal:

County fair opens today – Record crowd at first day’s show

Bigger, better attractions in new buildings greet many visitors as gates are flung open for four days of excitement and thrills.

At 10 o’clock this morning the San Luis Obispo County Fair at Paso Robles opened its doors to what officials expect will be an all-time record number of visitors. There will be fun for the whole family as the men, women and children of the entire county show their skills and crafts and handiworks.

From Mom’s pickles to uncle’s cowpunching, from grandma’s delicate embroideries to the prize hog of some Future Farmer of America, every age and every taste is represented in the exhibits. This year’s Fair is the biggest, most complete and entertaining of any in the history of the event.

For four packed days, until Sunday midnight, the fairgrounds will be the scene of rodeos, parades, dancing, band concerts, judging, auctions, pageants, and many other special events, including a huge Cavalcade, the Lipham Trio, Si Othis, Scout programs and horse show.

Officers and directors have been working and planning for a year to make the 1950’s Fair the greatest all-around show ever held in the county. Larry Lewin, secretary-manager, says that interest in the Fair has been noted throughout the state, and he has advised local motels and hotels to be ready for a big influx of guests. Even homeowners, Lewin reports, are showing typical hospitality by making spare rooms available to the overflow crowds. (Continued on the back page. Click here to read the full back page)

Fair opens in Paso Robles

Click here to read the full front page of the Wednesday, August 24, 1950, Paso Robles Journal.

Los Padres fires set new record

Fires this season in Los Padres National Forest have been the most disastrous in the history of the reserve, according to Nolan O’Neal, district manager.

Almost 1000 men battled fires in both ends of the county. In the Las Pilitas fire in Calf Canyon and the Cammatta ranches 29,000 acres were destroyed with 12,000 of this in the forest reserve. In the Huasna district flames swept 16,000 acres on Pine Ridge near Arroyo Grande.

The forest service has a word of commendation for the fine cooperation from hunters since the deer season opened.

Outdoor theatre will open soon

Work is progressing at a record pace at the site of the new Oaks Outdoor Theatre being erected two miles south of Paso Robles by a local company with Al Stanford as manager, and George Hickox, building manager who predicts the opening within three weeks.

Grades for the parking of cars have been all laid out and will get a surface of blacktop, the building to house the projector, the service rooms and comfort stations is nearing completion and the management is loud in the praise of the contractors who are rushing the work.

In the meantime Stanford is in Los Angeles booking the finest of MGM pictures for the opening of this entertainment center.


Read previous Looking Back articles


This Looking Back view of Paso Robles history comes from one of the hundreds of local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection, located in the Paso Robles History Museum at 800 12th Street in Downtown City Park. Photography of the old newspapers is by Gigi Greene. News for this column is selected with the assistance of the society’s Vice President Nancy Tweedie and Research Director Jan Cannon. 


Thank you to sponsors of Looking Back

Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.

Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.

Creative Concrete & Design delivers the highest level of professional concrete work. Operating in San Luis Obispo County since 2002, Karl Rush brings 35 years of concrete experience to every job and will ensure that you receive the very best quality work. Over the years they have completed a great many works on residential homes. They are very creative and willing to explore options for your next project. Concrete projects have many factors to consider to bring your vision to life. creativeconcreteanddesign.com, (805) 896-1384.

Golden Anchor Financial Services is committed to helping you find the right mortgage product for your needs. They understand that every borrower is different, and offer a variety of products to meet individual requirements. They make the process of securing a mortgage simple and straightforward by offering you the latest in financial tools that enable you to make sound financial choices. Call them at (805) 473-7733 on the Central Coast or (559) 473-7733 in the Central Valley.

1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3 story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event. www.1800elpomar.com

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.