|New Life For An Old Friend|
Board Of Directors:
Hocking Denton Palmquist
Rae Deane Stone
For Earl Warren Showgrounds:
A Santa Barbara Landmark For 50 Years...
In 1958, a new 34-acre multi-use equestrian facility known as Earl Warren Showgrounds hosted the annual Santa Barbara National Horse and Flower Show, held since 1931 at Pershing Park near the beach. The facility, part of a special state land purchase from the Parks family, was originally deeded as a venue for horse and flower shows. Over the years a wealth of interim events have also found a home at Earl Warren Showgrounds, including the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, the International Orchid Show, Old Spanish Days Fiesta Rodeo and Stock Horse Show, a variety of community events and sales, and numerous regional horse shows. During times of crisis, the Showgrounds also serves as a medevac site, disaster control center and animal shelter.
While fairground facilities throughout the state receive a very small percentage of horse racing revenues to support operations, it is important to emphasize that Earl Warren Showgrounds is entirely self-supporting and receives no tax dollars whatsoever. The facility's economic engine, year in and year out, is its function as a horse show venue. The surge of new and returning customers to local businesses during major events also generates significant revenue to outside businesses, but the health of the entire property and its economic contribution to the community depends on the horse show facility and its ability to attract profitable shows.
Fifty years, however, has taken its toll. Major improvements are needed to meet current standards and attract higher revenue horse shows. Phase I of the proposed capital improvements include expansion of the El Camino Ring to regulation size, addition of a fourth show ring, and modernizing the warm-up arena all covered. The new rings will be built to contemporary horse show standards, including new drainage systems, and professional footings for horse and rider safety, judge's and announcer's booths, lighting, fencing, seating and sound systems. The estimated cost of Phase I modernization is $5 million.
Your Help Is Needed...
Earl Warren Showgrounds Foundation, a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation is dedicated to restoring and expanding a treasured tradition that has served the Santa Barbara community for many years. We wish to thank and recognize all who have contributed in the past. The Foundation needs your help and welcomes your continuing support.
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