Fair weather, fair food draws a crowd
Attendance for the Stanislaus County Fair was down slightly in 2016 compared to 2015.
The fair drew more than 220,000 guests during its 10-day run this summer, an 8 percent decrease from 2015, according to a news release on Tuesday.
“We had an extremely successful year with many in attendance and exhibitors present,” said Matt Cranford, chief executive officer of the fair. “Many larger fairs were impacted this year with low attendance numbers. Our fair is filled with community support who have always stood behind us and supported us when needed.”
The 105th edition of the fair ran from July 8-17, 2016. Fair concessions were up 7 percent, the news release said.
The fair may have been hurt by having two of its main stage acts, Salt N Pepa and Chaka Khan, cancel and have to be replaced. Salt N Pepa cited medical reasons for one of its members; Chaka Khan canceled because she entered a rehabilitation facility.
More than 30,000 guests took advantage of the “Free ‘Til 3p.m.” promotions on Sundays, the news release said.
“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,” fair spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas said.
Nearly 30,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2016 fair, from apple pies to market beef to tulips.
Also, livestock increased in entry numbers. Total gross sale of animals sold at the fair’s auctions exceeded $1.336 million.
“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.”