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Successful Run For Fair
Young fair visitor Raigan Cookise, 4, chomps down happily on a fresh ear of corn during a visit to the 2015 Stanislaus County Fair. See additional photos, Pages A2 and A3. Photo By Tracy Doige/Fair Photographer


Butterflies, midway lights, and daily concert nights were just a few of the many highlights as the Stanislaus County Fair celebrated its 104th year.

Nearly 249,000 guests visited the Stanislaus County Fair during its 10-day run, a 7 percent increase from the 2014 Fair. Opening on Friday, July 10 and concluding its annual run on Sunday, July 19, officials said the fair concessions were up 8 percent and Butler Amusement, the fair ride operator, was up 8 percent compared to 2014.

“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 2015 Fair included the New Butterfly exhibit; the New Mind Works Exhibit; the ReCharge! Modesto Toyota Lounge; the Baby Care Center; and the return of Suzy Haner the Hypnotist. Another success for the 2015 Fair was the 1,862 children who signed up for the Kids Club program and completed educational passports for the chance to win a four pack, two-day Disneyland grand prize package.

The fair’s free Park ‘N Ride service also exceeded officials’ expectations, delivering more than 14,524 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 30,000 guests took advantage on both Sundays to attend the fair for free, with no admission charged at the gate 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 2015 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 exceeding over $1.3 million.

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 very well received. Colt Ford, Carrot Top, 3BALLMTY, Eddie Money, Martina McBride, America, Bret Michaels, Jerrod Niemann, Grand Funk Railroad, and Banda Machos drew in large crowds.