Fair guests passed through the gates in another successful year for the most value-packed ticket of the summer at the 101st Stanislaus County Fair.
The Fair opened on Friday, July 13 and concluded its annual run on Sunday, July 22.
“With state funding being eliminated from Fairs we rely heavily on our community to support us,” said Chris Borovansky, chief executive officer of the Stanislaus County Fair. “Our community really came through for our Fair and it showed.”
Highlights of the 2012 Fair included two surprise marriage proposals, one as a flash mob and the other at the CCPRA Rodeo. Making its debut at the Stanislaus County Fair, JD Platts and his K9 Dog show was a huge hit with families. Another success of the 2012 Fair was the 540 kids who signed up for the Kidz Club program and completed educational passports for the family fun pack grand prize. The Fair’s mobile app had 10,244 total downloads, with 6,100 new downloads for 2012. The Christmas in July toy drive with Salvation Army drew in 3,191 donated toys as well as other donated items.
“This was a way to give back to our community and help those in need,” said Adrenna Alkhas, spokesperson for the Stanislaus County Fair.
The Fair’s free Park ‘N Ride service also exceeded Fair officials’ expectations, delivering more than 13,000 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. Sundays.
“In addition to a successful year filled with many high valued programs, the rainforest was back and we added the AgVenture exhibit as well as the Imagine the Food exhibit,” said Borovansky.
Nearly 30,000 individual entries were exhibited at the 2012 Fair, including more than 3,700 floriculture exhibits and 2,100 photography exhibits.
“The exhibit program is what sets us apart from other attractions in our area,” said Alkhas. “It is about the community joining together for this one event.”
The livestock area saw some changes this year with animals coming in a few days before Fair opened. Livestock increased in entry numbers and this also made more room for animals being exhibited. Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H members sold 112 heifers at the 45th Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $299,900 ($2,608 per head).
The 48th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $525,891 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were four poultry pens, 26 rabbits, 114 goats, 163 sheep and 372 swine. One of the highlights was the Supreme Champion Market Hog exhibitor, Clay Verdegaal from Sierra 4-H, whose hog weighed in at 263 pounds and sold for $6,575. The third annual Junior Livestock Market Steer Auction grossed at $212,819 with 64 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.