A cooking contest, live music, 30 different rides, a magician and a hypnotist are all part of the celebration of “How The West Was Fun!” the theme of this year’s Santa Barbara Fair.

The 18th annual Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, which is being held a few miles north of Isla Vista at Earl Warren Showgrounds, opened yesterday at 4 p.m. and runs until Sunday night.

The organizers hope to attract families and community members with everything from carnival rides to fair food and the typical livestock show. It will also showcase local foods, wine and beer, arts and crafts, horticulture and a fine arts display through Sunday.

This year’s event boasts a wide variety of attractions, including rides fit for thrill seekers like the “Fireball” and “Spinout” and attractions such as a giant Ferris wheel and a carousel for young children.

A wide variety of entertainers – ranging from musicians to magicians – are scheduled to take the stage throughout the duration of the fair. Latin Grammy winner Pepe Aguilar is one of the most prominent musical guests.

Other musicians include Jill Marie, Delaney Gibson, and Rowdy with Bill Bender. The musical acts are “something the whole family is sure to get a kick out of,” according to the fair’s press release.

Another entertaining act, according to the expo website, is a “cowboy comedy team ‘Fables of the West,’ a gang of little cowboys and their trusty steeds that will have everyone whoopin’ and hollerin’ with laughter.” After a few laughs, fair-goers will be amazed by the magical talents of Mark Collier who has “thrilled Santa Barbara audiences for years with his deft card tricks and magical illusions.”

Cooking contests include categories for both young and experienced cooks including the appetizer contest, which will be held tomorrow at 7 p.m. Cookies, salsa, chili, cornbread and apple pie are among the other items that are part of the cooking competition.

Craftspeople and artisans will also be attending to hold demonstrations and teach fairgoers various skills, such as how to construct scrapbooks or work with clay. Color Me Mine, Creative Memories and the Pampered Chef are a few groups that will be on hand to teach lessons.

Tickets cost $6 for an adult admission, with reduced prices for seniors and children. Rides are purchased separately – wristbands for unlimited rides are $20-25, and they can also be bought both individually and in packages of 24 or 80.

For more information regarding the attractions, specific prices or scheduling for stage events, visit sbfairandexpo.com.