Oct 14, 2014 No Comments by

Fresno, CA…October 14, 2014… The Big Fresno Fair’s Board of Directors, Management and staff are pleased to announce an incredibly successful completion of the 2014 Big Fresno Fair, which ran October 1 – 13. On closing day of the 2014 Fair, loyal guests packed the grounds for an extra day of Fair entertainment, food, education and fun, rounding out what Fair organizers call “the best Fair in decades!”

For the 131st edition of The Big Fresno Fair everything just fell into place perfectly – 13 days of exceptional and consistent weather, a strong and diverse entertainment line-up boasting packed concerts and a sold out show for Gabriel Iglesias as part of the Table Mountain Concert Series in the Paul Paul Theater, great discount opportunities and promotions to draw people to the Fair and a strong horse racing meet. “I could not be more pleased with the results of this year’s Fair,” said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair.

“Our team worked incredibly hard to put on the best Big Fresno Fair possible from attractions and entertainment to discounts to community service programs – all of which paid off leading the community to turn out with big crowds to support us. We thank them for their continued, unwavering support! The community loves their Big Fresno Fair and we love them back!”

The 2014 Big Fresno Fair attendance during the 13 days was 666,621 people, which is a 3.94% increase from 2013. The Big Fresno Fair has not reached this attendance level since 1991, when it was a 16-day fair. In turn, the big crowds were the reason concessions were also up by 3.95% over last year. Given the lagging racing numbers statewide due to smaller herd sizes and an increased challenge in getting horses on the fair racing circuit, The Big Fresno Fair meet still fared well only dropping 2% in On-Track wagering from last year.

As the economy continues to struggle with recovery, the Fair focused on deep discounts – both pre-Fair and Fair-time. Popular pre-Fair discounts included the Season Pass, a great money-saving opportunity providing unlimited admission to the Fair for just $30; up to a $10 discount for Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands; plus $2 off admission when purchasing early at participating Save Mart & FoodMaxx locations. Fair-time discounts included the returning $1 Wednesday Mania (10/1); “Fans & Followers” Day (10/2); Seniors’ Day presented by Eye-Q and PG&E (10/6); Special Interest Day (10/6); Les Schwab Tires $2 Tuesday (10/7); $1 Carnival Ride Wednesday (10/8); Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive (10/9); and the Sun-Maid Kids’ Day with the popular “Family Play Date Expo” (10/13). The Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive effort shattered last year’s record with a 60.5% increase in total food collected resulting in 256,783 lbs. (or 128.39 tons) of food that was donated to The Salvation Army and Community Food Bank to support their efforts to feed those in need in the Valley. On Thursday, October 9, Fair patrons who brought 5 or more cans of food or non-perishable food items received free Fair admission in exchange for their donation as part of the food drive. New this year, donations were also collected through a special Corporate Donation Outreach Initiative in which 38 companies and individuals stepped up to be part of the overall effort bringing in a total of 179,926 lbs. of food that went towards the total collected. This brings The Big Fresno Fair’s “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive’s six year total to more than 432 tons of food collected! The overall Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Community Food Drive effort is supported by Wells Fargo, Land O’Lakes and media partners CBS 47 and Univision Fresno.
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. This year the 4th Annual 4.0 & Above Program presented by Fresno County Office of Education, Friends of the Big Fresno Fair, EECU and Toyota, invited Fresno County high school students whose cumulative GPA was 4.0 or higher to enter the Fair for free on Opening Day. They also were able to enter-to-win in a random drawing for amazing prizes including; (13) $3,000 scholarships, 2014 Toyota Corolla proudly donated by Toyota, (3) iPads, (4) mountain bikes and (3) $100 VISA gift cards, all donated by community members and organizations. Over 5,000 students, their families and friends packed the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand in this rally-like event to watch as winning tickets were drawn for students who were present. The top prize winner was Michelle Reinaga from Washington Union High School who proudly walked away with a 2014 Toyota Corolla because of her scholastic achievement of maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
The Big Band Review presented by EECU and Toyota, also in its fourth year, was host to 24 Junior High and High School marching bands awarding $13,500 in a variety of prize categories with Clark Intermediate School receiving $1,500 and Washington Union High School receiving $2,000 as top prizes.
Fairgoers were greeted by a variety of new attractions which included the Wizard’s Challenge Exhibit and the Live Shark Encounter, then of course, all the fabulous new and returning Fair food vendors! The Big Fresno Fair continues to move forward and make BIG improvements while maintaining their mission to celebrate, educate and have fun each and every year! Work will commence immediately on the new 13,000 sq. ft. Hospitality & Conference Center just north of the Paul Paul Theater which will hopefully be completed in time for the 2015 Big Fresno Fair.
The overall success of the 2014 Fair would not be possible without a community who loves and supports their Fair. Many families stayed local for their entertainment and The Big Fresno Fair provided a family-friendly and affordable option. Planning is already underway for the 2015 Big Fresno Fair, which will run October 7 -18 and will mark the 132nd year of this valued tradition.


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