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County Fair reports higher attendance, concession, ride sales
County fair 2022
The Stanislaus County Fair grounds shows a large crowd gathered for the Sugar Ray concert on July 9. - photo by Jeff Benziger

From petting zoo to BMX shows, or honoring fallen military heroes, the 109th Stanislaus County Fair did not disappoint this year as it brought in larger crowds from July 8 to July 17.

Fair officials reported on Tuesday that the fair drew 270,447 guests during its 10-day run, a four percent increase from 2019. Fair concessions were up 38 percent and Butler Amusement, the fair ride operator, was up 30 percent compared to 2019. 

“This year was a huge success with a lot of support from our local communities,” said Matt Cranford, Chief Executive Officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “After coming out of COVID, we were unsure what to expect, but the community knew what it wanted. It wanted a good summer fair.”

Highlights of the 2022 Fair included Duck Races; The Vintage Faire Mall Selfie Museum, Yonan’s Jewelers Lounge; Suzy Haner Hypnotist Show; and The Baby Care Center. Another success for the 2022 Fair was the children who signed up for the Kids Club program and completed educational passports for a chance to win six tickets to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk from KAT Country Radio Station.

Guests enjoyed many discount promotions including the Fair’s Free ‘Til 3 p.m. on Sunday. Over 47,000 guests took advantage on ways to save money and attend the fair. Nearly 10,285 individual entries were exhibited at the 2022 Fair, from orchids and quilts to Ag Mechanics and Ag Hort.

Livestock increased in entry numbers with total gross sale of animals sold at the fair auctions exceeding over $1.5 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA), Granger, and 4-H members sold 81 heifers at the 54th Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $350,500 ($4.868.06 per head) Reserve Supreme Champion was Adison Machado, from Central Catholic FFA, selling her heifer at $8,100.

The 55th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $683,331.90 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were 69 rabbits/poultry, 259 lambs/goats, 146 sheep, and 221 swine. The 55th Annual Market Beef auction grossed $531,361.75 and sold 71 steers.

The excitement of Truck and Tractor pulls, Monster Trucks, PRCA Rodeo, and Bloodless Bullfights in the FoodMaxx Arena were welcomed by Fair guests. All of the arena events were heavily attended with sold-out shows on many evenings.

All 10 free celebrity concerts on the Coors Light Variety Free Stage were very well received. WAR, Smash Mouth, Karla Perez as “Selena”, Sean Kingston, Gary Allan, Bone Thugs-N- Harmony, Danielle Bradbery, Night Ranger, and Luis Coronel drew in large crowds.