‘How the West Was Fun’: San Diego County Fair Changes ‘Extremely Offensive’ Theme

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By Heat Street Staff | 5:58 pm, December 22, 2016

The San Diego County Fair is reworking its 2017 theme and logo—“How the West Was Fun,” depicted by a cowboy on horseback—after objections from Californian Native Americans.

Angela Elliott Santos, a tribal chairwoman of the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, on Wednesday called the original idea “extremely offensive in light of the history and experience of genocide” against Native Americans “during the so-called settling of the West.”

The original logo for the 2017 San Diego County Fair.


Other tribes told the fair’s board that the original theme “may have given the suggestion that the winning of the American West from Native Americans had been ‘fun,’” the Santa Fe Review reported.

To avoid offense, the 22nd District Agricultural Association this week agreed to change its theme from “How the West Was Fun” to “Where the West Is Fun.”

Along with sarsaparilla, an old-timey player piano, and nods to several famous cowboys and cowgirls, the 2017 San Diego County Fair will now also feature educational displays about the Kumeyaay Nation, the District Agricultural Association said.