VICTORVILLE — This year’s San Bernardino County Fair is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to scheduled activities at the High Desert Event Center.
Known mostly as the home of the annual county fair in May, the fairgrounds in Victorville has been a growing hub of activity ever since Geoff Hinds took over as Fair CEO/general manager three years ago.
“In 2016, we hosted 117 different events over 400 different days, with multiple events happening on one day,” Hinds told the Daily Press. “The goal of being busy every day and keeping this place hopping is practically becoming a reality.”
Hinds said the increase in events at the fairgrounds, coupled with the fair’s oversight of events at Adelanto Stadium, led his staff to hire more team members.
“Our fair staff is doing a great job keeping both venues flying strong,” Hinds said. “It’s amazing that they can keep up with large events like the fair, the 800-pound gorilla called Chalice California and smaller private events.”
Hinds said this year’s fair will begin its eight-day run on May 20 and will include concerts, Monster Trucks, Destruction Derby, stage shows, strolling comedians, clowns, jugglers, live bands, exotic animals and plenty of fair food favorites.
“We’ll be finalizing and announcing our big musical lineup soon and it promises to be a huge deal,” Hinds said. “We’re also in negotiations with several promoters for future events.
“Every year, we try to up our game with the fair and this year is no exception.”
The fairgrounds welcomed the spring season with Speedway Sprints and Dirt Karts races at the Wheel2Wheel Raceway. The competition runs about twice a month through November. For more information, visit www.wheel2wheelraceway.com.
“Besides our yearly events, the fairgrounds hosts weekly motocross events at our 333 MX Park, racing at our Dialed in RC Raceway and live satellite wagering,” Hinds said. “Our Wheel2Wheel Raceway events are huge draws.”
The 5th Annual Abra Ca Dabs World Cannabis Conference ends its three-day run at Adelanto Stadium on Sunday. Billed as a time to unify the community through music, art and cannabis concentrates, the event was formerly held at the fairgrounds. For more information, visit www.abracadabsfestival.com.
The 33rd annual High Desert Spring Home Show will offer guests hundreds of exhibitors showcasing improvement ideas for home and garden during the three-day show that begins at the fairgrounds on March 31. For more information, visit www.highdeserthomeshows.com.
The Blue Jays Handicapables Square Dance Club of Hesperia and several other clubs from across the state will attend the 57th California State Square Dance Convention at the fairgrounds. The three-day event begins on April 7 and will feature a safe and encouraging environment where adults with special needs can come together for social interaction within their pier group. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a successful event in February, High Desert Hot Box 4/20 will returns to the fairgrounds on April 20. The event includes educational speakers, a Prop 215 building, live music, food, craft and merchandise vendors, live glass demos, raffles, a full bar and plenty of cannabis products. Admission is $10. Seniors and veterans are free. For tickets and more information, email email@example.com.
The High Desert 2nd Annual Freestyle and Old School Music Festival will return to the fairgrounds on May 13 with a growing musical lineup that will transport music fans back to the ‘70s and ‘80s. The lineup includes Evelyn Champagne King, One Way, Cover girls, Baby Bash, 2 Live Crew, Stacy Q, Company B, Debbie Deb, Suzi Carr, Freestyle, Ozone, MC Shy D and Jo Jo of the Mary Jane Girls.
The High Desert Yardbirds baseball organization will open its inaugural home season on June 6 at Adelanto Stadium when the team plays the Monterey Amberjacks followed by the Hollywood Stars, California City Whiptails and Bakersfield Train Robbers.
Pecos League Commissioner and team owner Andrew Dunn told the Daily Press, city and fair staff have worked hard to make baseball a reality again in the High Desert. Information on sponsorship opportunities, games tickets, promotions and other information can be found by visiting www.highdesertyardbirds.com. Search High Desert Yardbirds on Facebook.
The sounds of bluegrass music will fill the air when the Route 66 Bluegrass Festival returns to the fairgrounds on June 17. Last year, fans enjoyed music by Chris Cerna and the Bluegrass Republic, Out of the Desert, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Nu-Blu, The Get Down Boys, Burning Heart Bluegrass, SWBA Bluegrass Kids and more.
The fairgrounds will host the annual Freedom Fest on July 4, which will include a day of activities, music and food, with the festivities ending with a traditional fireworks show and music simulcast.
The Chalice California Music Festival will return to the fairgrounds on July 7 with three days full of hash, music, glass and art. Last year, nearly 24,000 visitors from the High Desert and across the country attended the event that sold out every hotel room in the area.
Various styles of Mexican music will be played when the third annual Felix G. Diaz Mariachi Music Festival comes to Victorville this September. The event-filled day includes music, food, fun and a celebration of mariachi, and is named after Diaz, a lifelong High Desert resident, veteran, community leader and activist.
“We’re working with the High Life people, several other cannabis-themed festival promoters and general promoters for other events at the fair and the stadium this year,” Hinds said. “When you look deeper, we’re more than just a place that hosts the fair and cannabis-themed events.”
For more information on the fairgrounds, visit www.sbcfair.com or call 760-951-2200.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.