Fair guests passed through the turnstiles in record numbers for the most value-packed ticket of the summer.
The Jurassic Journey dinosaur exhibit, 10 celebrity concerts, daily almond sampling and the Budweiser Clydesdales are some of features that attracted 232,843 visitors to the 2008 Stanislaus County Fair. The fair opened on Friday, July 25 and concluded its 97th annual run on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008. The 2008 attendance marked this as the highest attended fair in more than 15 years. Attendance in 2007 was 219,008.
“In a sluggish economy, families seek out the best value for their limited dollars,” said Tony Leo, chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “Our community recognizes that the nominal price of fair admission includes more family entertainment value than any event around.”
Highlights of the 2008 fair included the new Jurassic Journey dinosaur exhibit. Making its California debut at the Stanislaus County Fair, the 8,000 square foot exhibit featured dinosaur and fossil replicas, a flowing waterfall and a steaming volcano. “Fair guests raved about this exhibit,” said Pennie Rorex, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. “Adults and children alike were impressed by the quality of this exhibit; many returned to the fair multiple nights to see the dinosaurs.”
This year’s fair saluted the valley’s robust nut industry. The Almond Board of California, a major sponsor of the Fair’s themed tribute, provided free samples of almonds each day.
Nearly 29,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2008 fair, including more than 3,700 floriculture exhibits and 2,100 photography exhibits. “This exhibit program is the heart of the county fair,” said Rorex. “It is what sets our fair apart from a traditional amusement park.”
Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 86 heifers at the 41st Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $310,850 ($3,614 per head).
The 44th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $598,883 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were 4 poultry pens, 11 rabbits, 67 steer, 86 goats, 133 sheep and 285 swine.
For the second year in a row all celebrity concerts on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage were included with the price of fair admission. “Our concert lineup was the best ever,” said Rorex. “Every concert was at capacity, with The Doobie Brothers, Raven-Symoné, The Beach Boys and Mariachi Vargas appearing to be the most popular.”
The FoodMaxx Arena was filled with excitement during the fair’s 10-day run, too. Capacity audiences filled the stands for the three most popular events—Destruction Derby I, Destruction Derby II and the Truck and Tractor Pulls.
The 2009 Stanislaus County Fair will open on Friday, July 31, 2009, for a 10-day run. The 2009 fair theme is “Fair Fever,” a celebration of the 1970s disco era.
The mission of the Stanislaus County Fair is to provide a family and community oriented experience promoting agriculture, education, entertainment and technology.
For more information about the Stanislaus County Fair log onto www.stancofair.com.
Note to Editors:
Audited judging results for individual exhibitors will be available on Friday, August 29, 2008.
2008 fair attendance figure subject to post-fair auditing.