This year's Stanislaus County Fair was complete with fried treats, funky tunes, wizard games and a whole lot of people.
According to numbers released last week, an estimated 229,000 guests visited the Stanislaus County Fair during its 10-day run, a 5 percent increase from last year's festivities.
Chris Borovansky, chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair, attributes the increased attendance to the fair's mass appeal to the Valley community.
"It was a great combination of entertainment, agricultural education, and just plain fun," said Borovansky. "The fair at its core is a special event for the community."
Beginning on July 12, this year's fair offered some new attractions, including a farmers market, Rock It the Robot, and an expanded toy train exhibit.
"In addition to a successful year filled with many high valued programs, we initiated our brandnew Wizard's Challenge Wild Science Exhibit," said Borovansky.
Cortney Megee, a Modesto resident who attended the fair on its opening night, said she noticed the fair was busier this year and applauded fair officials on their promotion of the event.
"I went opening night and it seemed a lot busier than last year," said Megee. "I loved the $1 rides promotion they were having. "
The increase in numbers wasn't just limited to attendance. The 2013 event also boasted 800 children who signed up for the Kids Club program, 5,000 downloads for the fair's mobile app and over 15,000 guests using the Park n ‘Ride free shuttle service.
Nearly 30,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2013 fair, including more than 3,700 floriculture exhibits and 2,100 photography exhibits.
"The exhibit program is what sets us apart from other fairs in the state," said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. "It is about the community joining together for this one event."
Livestock numbers also increased with the total gross sale of animals sold at the fair auctions exceeding over $1.1 million. The nine nights of motorsports and free concerts also brought out huge crowds.
"Despite the crowds, I had a great time," said Megee.
Livestock increased in entry numbers with total gross sale of animals sold at the Fair auctions exceeded over $1.1 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 106 heifers at the 46th annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $304,600 ($2,841 per head). Tony Garcia, Modesto FFA, was the Supreme Champion and sold his heifer at $6,500. Reserve Supreme Champion was Lane Wheeler, from Turlock FFA, selling his heifer at $4,100.
The 49th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $606,368 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were four poultry pens, 43 rabbits, 103 goats, 190 sheep and 438 swine. The 4th Annual Junior Livestock Market Steer Auction grossed at $155,060 with 46 steers sold.
The excitement of nine nights of motorsports and one night of rodeo in the FoodMaxx Arena were also welcomed by Fair guests. Both destruction derbies were also well attended.
All of the 10 free celebrity concerts on the Budweiser Variety Free Stage were very well received. Clay Walker, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Huey Lewis and the News, Morris Day and the Time, as well as the Gloriana and El Coyote y su Banda drew in large crowds.