Abundant new attractions and events, big savings, great weather and diverse entertainment credited for attendance increase

Fresno, CA…October 17, 2019… The Big Fresno Fair’s Board of Directors, Management and staff are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the 2019 Big Fresno Fair, which ran October 2 -14. The Big Fresno Fair is the largest event from Sacramento down to the Los Angeles county line, and this year proved to be the safest Fair to date thanks to added security measures such as increased surveillance cameras, walk through metal detectors, increased Fresno Police Department presence both inside and outside the Fair, as well as other continued safety measures from horse racing track to the carnival.


“We are grateful to our community who continues to show up and take part in this annual tradition,” said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. “Whether that’s as a Fairgoer, an exhibitor or performer – we are proud to showcase the best of the best to our incredible community and are humbled to have closed the gates on another successful Fair – our 136th in this very same location and the same time of the year.”


Big discounts and excellent weather played a big role in the unaudited 0.03% increase in attendance over last year’s record-breaking year. The 2019 Big Fresno Fair welcomed 632,590 people from throughout the Valley and beyond to enjoy this longstanding tradition based upon the unaudited attendance report. The Fair saw big crowds in the Paul Paul Theater for the Table Mountain Concert Series with six sold out shows (Christian Nodal, Tower of Power & WAR, Keith Sweat, Ice Cube, Festival del Mariachi and Willie Nelson & Family), plus solid numbers at the Jr. Livestock Auctions (10/5 and 10/12) helped generate more than $945,000 in sales for 4-H/FFA students with top-offs still coming in. Racing fans showed up in big numbers for the nine days of live horse racing excitement, generating a 5.84% increase in on-track handle! Then the Fair also hosted it’s first-ever Food Fight competition (10/3) which had 18 new food entries from concessionaires! The record number of new food items matched with the big crowds at the 2019 Big Fresno Fair contributed to a 13% increase in concessions.


The BIG Fair numbers continue. In the words of Fair CEO, John C. Alkire “here’s the real Paul Harvey version of the 2019 Big Fresno Fair numbers” that contribute positively to the community.


  • Provides $71.1M in economic impact to Fresno County annually
  • Hired more than 900 people, not including those hired by the carnival and individual food stands
  • This year 5,800 pints of blood were collected at the “Pint for a Pass” Blood Drive held August 14 – September 22 in partnership with the Central California Blood Center, bringing the 10-year total to more than 91,000 pints of blood collected which had the potential to save up to 273,000 lives!
  • $87,000 in scholarships were given out to Fresno County 8th – 12th grade students as part of the Fair’s 4.0 & Above Program held in partnership with the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools along with valued sponsors Friends of the Big Fresno Fair, EECU, Toyota, Chevron and iHeart Radio. Plus, Ceasar Contreras, a 12th grader from Washington Union High School won a brand new 2020 Toyota Corolla; a $19,600 value!
  • $15,000 in cash prizes were given out at the Fair’s Big Band Review participants. Edison High School and Clark Intermediate walked away with top honors as the sweepstakes winners!
  • The new “Fill the Need” Day on Thursday, October 10, got people into the Fair for just $4. Half of that $4 ticket was to benefit Valley Children’s. A total of $37,496 was raised and will be donated!
  • A total of 28,879 Fresno County parents, teachers and students toured the Fair on four different days this year as part of the 27th annual Fair Education Program, an educational free field trip.
  • “Feed the Need” Food Drive Effort
    • 91,000 lbs. of food was collected at the “Feed the Need” Food Drive at Fresno State. Those who brought 10 cans got a free Fair admission ticket good for any day of the Fair. All food collected went to the Fresno State Student Cupboard. With the food collected, roughly 70,543 meals were provided to students in need.  
    • Then on the final day of the Fair at the Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Food Drive the community showed up big to donate their five cans of food to get into the Fair for free! The result was 91,790 lbs. of food collected, which all went to the Poverello House, providing approximately 71,155 meals for those in need in our community.
    • This brings the 11-year total of food collected from the overall “Feed the Need” effort to 1,974,803 lbs. of food collected providing 1.53 million meals to those in need!
  • 1,880 people were taught life-saving CPR techniques at the American Ambulance booth at the Fair!
  • The fish from Catfish Falls and the Meyer’s Water & Wildlife Tree’s “Cloud Tank”, two big attractions in the Table Mountain Rancheria Park, were harvested and donated to the Poverello House and Stone Soup, providing a protein rich meal for more than 1,000 people.


The Fair Management team continued to stay focused on providing affordable ways for families to attend the Fair, providing a plethora of discounts both pre-Fair and during the Fair. Popular pre-Fair discounts included the $30 Season Passes available at O’Reilly Auto Part stores; up to a $7 discount for Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands and $2 off admission at participating Save Mart & FoodMaxx locations. Fair-time discounts included $5 Wednesday (10/2); “Fans & Followers” Day & $2 Carnival Rides (10/3); Table Mountain “The Club” Members Reward Offer (10/3) Seniors’ Day presented by Humana (10/7); Special Interest Day (10/7); CalViva Health Half Price Tuesday (10/8); Sun-Maid Kids’ Day (10/9); $4 “Fill the Need” Day (10/10); and the Save Mart & FoodMaxx “Feed the Need” Food Drive (10/14).


Whether it was the new attractions, competitive exhibits, free entertainment, live horse racing, carnival rides, Table Mountain Rancheria Park, Fair food or concerts that brought people out, there was no doubt that the community sure does love their Big Fresno Fair. Many families continue to choose to stay local for their entertainment and the Fair provided them a family-friendly, affordable and safe entertainment option. Planning is already underway for the 2019 Big Fresno Fair, which will run October 7 -18 and marks the 137th year of this valued tradition.         


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