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Fair draws more visitors in 2014
Concession, carnival sales rise over 2013
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Ceres 4-H member Matthew Bailey tends to his swine entry at the recent Stanislaus County Fair. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier file photo

The Stanislaus County Fair drew nearly 239,000 guests during its 10-day run, a six percent increase from prior year fair.

Fair concessions were up 12 percent and Butler Amusement, the fair ride operator, was up 18 percent for the July 11-20 Fair compared to the 2013 fair.

"We consider ourselves very lucky to have such a supportive community," said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair. "The Fair at its core has a lot of history imbedded on its grounds and is a special event for the community."

Highlights of the 2014 Fair included the Food Network filming their segment of Carnival Eats at the fair; the New ReCharge! Modesto Toyota Lounge; the new Mommy and Me Lounge; Wizards Challenge, an interactive science exhibit; a farmers market; Rock It the Robot; and the toy train exhibit produced by San Joaquin Valley Toy Train Operators (SJTTOS).

Another success for the 2014 Fair was the 1,078 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 mobile app had 19,441 total downloads, with 4,300 new downloads for 2014.

The Fair's free Park ‘N Ride service also exceeded Fair officials' expectations, delivering more than 15,872 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 31,000 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 Chris Borovansky, chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair.

Nearly 30,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2014 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 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 exceeded over $1.3 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 125 heifers at the 47thAnnual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $516,350 ($4,212 per head).

Lane Wheeler, Turlock FFA, was the Supreme Champion and sold his heifer at $5,600.

Reserve Supreme Champion was Mya O'Brien, from Shiloh 4-H, selling her heifer at $8,000.

The 50th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $795,262 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were four poultry pens, 22 rabbits, 138 goats, 193 sheep, 418 swine, and 33 steers.

The excitement of seven nights of motorsports, two nights of rodeo, and a laser light show 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 well attended. This year's Fair booked Wynonna & The Big Noise, Kansas, Banda Machos, Rodney Atkins, Kool & the Gang, Fifth Harmony, Loverboy, Three Dog Night, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and Ezequiel Pena.