Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145


Watsonville, CA – On Thursday, January 24, 2012, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd G Connelly handed down a decision dismissing all challenges to the right of the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds to continue hosting rodeos.

Each point made by the plaintiffs, Citizens for Environmental Responsibility and Stop the Rodeo, citing pollution, noise, and the need to conduct a full environmental review of the rodeo was negated in the ruling. The court found no negative environmental damage or danger to the public as a result of the event. Furthermore, Judge Connelly affirmed that equestrian events such as the Stars of Justice Rodeo held last year fit within the historical uses of the Fairgrounds.

The real damage from this and other lawsuits filed by neighborhood groups is to the financial health of the Fairgrounds. “It looks like we spent about $95,000 dollars last year defending the Fairgrounds against legal challenges to our operations” said Dave Kegebein, Fairgrounds Management Team Leader. He added “We have always been an event center open and available to all segments of our community, however we also want to continue to be very good neighbors.”

The Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds hosts a large number of community events highlighted by the annual County Fair. The Fair celebrates the rich agricultural history of our community and people, and invests heavily in bringing this heritage to our youth. The 2012 Fair will be held September 11 - 16 at the Fairgrounds located on Highway 152 just east of Watsonville. Information on the Fair, and the Fairgrounds - a year round entertainment and event venue, can be found at

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