Central Valley

Big Fresno Fair breaks 600,000 in attendance

Another year of The Big Fresno Fair has come and gone, and it appears this year was bigger than ever. During the 12-day run of the Fair from Oct. 5-16, guests were treated to a wide variety of new attractions such as camel rides, Discover the Bayou, Extreme Creature Feature and GASCAR Crazy Animal Races, along with even more historical artifacts as part of the Fresno County Historical Museum, including the famed Hacienda Motel sign.

That, coupled with an incredible entertainment line-up that included sold-out Cole Swindell, Gabriel Iglesias and Banda MS shows as part of the Table Mountain Concert Series, great discounts, exciting live horse racing, plus the strongest Jr. Livestock Auction in years made for a great 133rd edition of The Big Fresno Fair.

“Our team continues to work hard to put on a Fair that’s a little bit bigger and better each year. New additions to the Museum, plus other new attractions throughout the Fair definitely helped us accomplished that,” said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. “The Fresno County Historical Museum is truly a treasure for our community to enjoy, learn from and celebrate the evolution of life in our Valley as represented by its unique people, innovations, professions, pastimes and so much more. To witness the stories shared by complete strangers in the Museum during the Fair was something so special.”

For only the second time in the Fair’s 133-year history, it broke 600,000 people in attendance as a 12-day event. Last year was the first year that milestone had been achieved. Final attendance for the 12 days of the 2016 Big Fresno Fair attendance was 605,870, only a 0.39% difference from last year’s attendance total. Those big crowds that
turned out really did enjoy the Fair to its fullest, resulting in a 9.37% increase in concessions.

The Jr. Livestock Auctions also experienced a record year thanks to the incredible support from the community for the young 4-H and FFA members who were showing animals. While add-ons are still being processed, total sales are estimated to be in excess of $916,000, which is an increase from last year’s total of $910,000.

“We consider this year’s Fair to be a great success and that is all possible because of the continued support of our community. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to come out and see us at the Fair this year,” continued Alkire.

The Fair Management team continued to stay focused on providing affordable ways for families to attend the Fair, providing deep discounts both pre-Fair and during the Fair.

Again this year, The Big Fresno Fair continued several programs that recognize the achievements of the community’s brightest scholars, agricultural leaders and talented individuals.

Focus on Education

This year the 6th Annual 4.0 & Above Program presented by Fresno County Office of Education, Friends of the Big Fresno Fair, EECU and Toyota, gave away a record number of scholarships to Fresno County students.

All students grades 8-12 whose academic performance has awarded them a 4.0 or above grade point average as of their 2016 Spring semester were invited to the Fair for free on Opening Day  for the chance to win scholarships totaling $81,000, (6) laptops, (3) Apple iPads, $100 Visa gift cards, as well as a new Toyota Corolla that was available exclusively to 9th through 12th grade students.

The 2016 Toyota Corolla was proudly donated by Toyota, and a variety of community members and organizations stepped up to fund the scholarships. Hoover High School sophomore, Isaac Blanco was the lucky winner of the new car. Find a complete list of winners here: http://www.fresnofair.com/4-0-above-program.

Whether it was the attractions, competitive exhibits, free entertainment, live horse racing, carnival rides, Table Mountain Rancheria Park, Fair food or concerts that brought people out, there was no doubt that the community sure does love their Big Fresno Fair.

Many families chose to stay local for their entertainment and the Fair provided them a family-friendly and affordable option. Planning is already underway for the 2017 Big Fresno Fair, which will run October 4 -15 and will mark the 134th year of this valued tradition.


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