From high divers on fire to flying drones and pig races, the 106th Stanislaus County Fair brought in crowds from various places.
Residents picked the Stanislaus County Fair as their destination for the summer and drew in over 235,000 guests during its 10-day run, an 8 percent increase from 2016. The Fair opened on Friday, July 14 and concluded its annual run on Sunday, July 23.Fair concessions were down 3 percent and Butler Amusement, the fair ride operator, was up 15 percent compared to 2016.
“This year was successful even with the heat we experienced. Like other events, the heat had an impact on our weekend attendance,” said Matt Cranford, chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “But our community supports and enjoys this Fair. That support helped us to see an 8 percent increase in attendance over last year.”
Highlights of the 2017 Fair included the Drone Zone; the empowHER Lounge; Butterfly Exhibit; High Diving Show; Pig Races; the ReCharge! Modesto Toyota Lounge; the Baby Care Center; and the return of Suzy Haner the Hypnotist. Another success for the 2017 Fair was the 2,511 children who signed up for the Kids Club program and completed educational passports for a four pack, two-day Disneyland grand prize package.
The Fair’s free Park ‘N Ride service also exceeded Fair officials’ expectations, delivering more than 13,786 Fair guests to its historic Arch Gate where guests were able to park free at CSU Stanislaus and Pitman High School. Another free opportunity for guests to enjoy the Fair was the ‘Free ‘til 3 p.m.’ on Sundays. Over 20,000 guests took advantage on both Sundays to attend the Fair for free until 3 p.m.
“In addition to a successful year filled with many high valued programs, we wanted to give back to the community by providing a chance for many to enjoy the Fair for free,” said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair.
Nearly 30,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2017 Fair, from orchids and tulips to rabbits and market hogs.
“The exhibit program is what sets us apart from other Fairs in the state,” said Alkhas. “The true mark of a fair’s success is not in attendance numbers, but in positive exhibitor participation and happy fair guests.”
Livestock increased in entry numbers with total gross sale of animals sold at the Fair auctions exceeding over $1.365 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 125 heifers at the 50th Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $385,600 ($2,815 per head). Supreme Champion was Lane Wheeler, from Turlock FFA, selling her heifer at $4,800. Reserve Supreme Champion was Elijah Pacheco, Independent, selling his heifer at $4,800.
The 53rd Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $711,057 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were four poultry pens, four market turkeys, 24 rabbits, 159 goats, 172 sheep, 372 swine, and 51 steers. The 53rd Annual Market Beef auction grossed at $268,545.
The excitement of seven nights of motorsports, and three nights of rodeo in the FoodMaxx Arena were welcomed by Fair guests. Both destruction derbies were also well attended.
All of the 10 free celebrity concerts on the Bud Light Variety Free Stage were very well received. LeAnn Rimes; UB 40 Legends Ali, Astro, and Mickey; Enigma Norteno; Eli Young Band; Morris Day and The Time; 38 Special; Lonestar; Good Charlotte; Dennis Quaid and The Sharks; and Lupillo Rivera drew in large crowds.
The mission of the Stanislaus County Fair is to provide a family and community oriented experience promoting agriculture, entertainment and technology. For more information about the Stanislaus County Fair, go to www.stancofair.com.