Jul 18, 2012 6:41 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

No Place Like Home: Mid State Fair Cattle Drive dedicated to George Hearst

The Mid-State Fair is a fair centered around the agricultural roots of this area, so it's kind of fitting it kicks off every year with a cattle drive right through town. And even though they've been doing it for years, there's always new challenges and new memories made along the route. And more proof there's No Place Like Home!

It starts as usual with a gatherig of old friends at Golden Hills Auto Center in Paso Robles. Mark Barjon owns the dealership and lets cows replace the cars in his lot for this annual event. "There's a lot of people, Jeanette, who have never seen cattle in a cattle drive. It's just something that's unique for a lot of the kids." he explains. "You can see the smiles on their faces. They're waving and everything else."

Cathie and Rowley Twisselman supply the cattle for rodeo events at the far and for years have been coordinating a cattle drive instead of just dropping off the livestock at the fairgrounds. "It would be a lot easier, there's no doubt about it." says Borjon. "But it's lot more fun this way and it's great for the community."

104 head of cattle, and about as many riders. Young people who have made it part of their summer tradition, to toddlers experiencing it for the first time. It's a chance for ranch hands and rodeo champs to mingle with bankers and businessmen for the day in true Paso Robles style. "This is great! says a fired-up Tom Dobyns. The CEO of Mission Community Bank, he was doing the ride for the first time this year. "From what I understand they line the streets. So some of my employees are going to be out there. They said 'So wave at us!' It's great."

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson was pretty excited to be there with old friends as well. "This is classic Paso Robles. You get to see people that you don't see and have a good time."

It's no small task getting a herd of cattle and a herd of city slickers through town without mishaps. But somehow that's part of the fun. Four city streets, about 5 miles, and endless opportunities for a stampede. But the caliber of cowboys we have on the central coast makes this not only possible, but an annual attraction only the mid state fair can offer.

"It was like nothing I ever experienced before." says Dobyns.
"The little kids all the way up to the 80, the people waving and just loving this. It was incredible."

This year's ride was dedicated to a cowboy lost this year, George Hearst. His son Steve led his father's horse along the route. "Well somebody yelled out 'You lost a rider." Hearst struggled to get his composure. "Yeah we did." he says. "Well, to all kids, remember Dad's are supermen."

That they are. Especially when they're cowboys like the ones we have here, right in our own backyard.



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