By Patrick Kahler
28th District Agricultural Association/San Bernardino County Fair
(Victorville)– The High Desert Event Center at the San Bernardino County Fair will host the California Chalice Festival July 8—10. Apparently the decision to allow this event has caused some in our community to have concern due to a newspaper article with the sensational headline about the event which read (in part)…“biggest hash festival in America…” As much as the promoters may like to believe it’s the “biggest” in America, the terminology was nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
Because the Board and management staff at the San Bernardino County Fair approved the event at the Fairgrounds does not reflect their opinions about whether they do or do not support medical marijuana. We have heard the criticisms over approving the event, but it has to be understood that the Board and management staff at the San Bernardino County Fair can’t inject their personal beliefs and act in a discriminatory manner when deciding what events will or won’t be allowed at the Fairgrounds. When an event is proposed at the High Desert Event Center, every promoter must demonstrate the ability to meet or exceed stringent terms and conditions before the event is allowed, especially public safety.
The promoters of Chalice California have done this and planned an event that is regulated, legal and responsible. Although this is the first such event Chalice California has planned at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, it is not the first event of its type to be held in San Bernardino County, in fact this year’s event is the 3rd Annual Chalice California festival to be held in San Bernardino County. Previous Festivals were held in San Bernardino at the National Orange Show in 2014 and 2015. Other events of this type have been held at multiple locations, including the National Orange Show, and San Manuel Amphitheatre and other locations within San Bernardino County dating back to 1998.
The media routinely covers drug and/or alcohol-related incidents throughout the High Desert, and there is a plethora of liquor stores, vaping and smoke shops throughout the High Desert, but Chalice California is an event that will bring a positive perspective to an issue that people have strong opinions either for or against—medical marijuana.
We urge High Desert residents to not rush to judgment and condemn the Chalice Festival because of negative held opinions about medical marijuana.
One positive impact for sure will be spending by event-goers at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations and other venues that will no doubt have a positive effect on our local economy. To understand the net financial effect of this festival on our community, one needs only to look at the prices for hotel rooms during the dates of this event, where rooms are exceeding $500 at some locations, and the cheapest rooms are over $100— This is just one example of the cash infusion this event will provide to our community, and we encourage residents to take this into consideration.
The public is encouraged to attend our Board of Directors’ meetings held the third Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. at the Fair Administrative Office at 14800 7th Street in Victorville. Board agendas can be viewed on the Fair’s website at: www.sbcfair.com