Despite a change in run dates and a conflicting schedule with the California State Fair, the Stanislaus County Fair still drew over 209,108 people to the annual 10-day event.
The changed fair dates and the recent economic recession, however, were probably factors in the eight percent decrease in attendance at the 2010 county fair compared to the 2009 run.
“The economy played a big role in our attendance numbers, many smaller community fairs have been impacted as well as the Calgary Stampede,” said Chris Borovansky, Stanislaus County Fair chief executive officer.
Even though the economy has seen families tighten their belts and spend less on entertainment, a large number of county residents and guests from all over the state visited the Stanislaus County Fair during its July 16 to July 25 run for the food, the Midway rides, concerts and exhibits.
“We had an extremely successful year with all the participation we had and exhibitors present,” Borovansky said.
The avid fair-goers even took advantage of the coupons and the free parking to save a couple of bucks.
“The coupons were very popular this year,” Borovansky said.
The fair’s Park ‘N Ride service also saw an increase in patronage from last year providing. The service provided a free ride for over 10,400 guests who parked in the California State University, Stanislaus and Pitman High School parking lots.
Exhibitor participants also remained high with a slight decrease in the number of animals present at the fair dropping down about 350 animals from 2009. This year 4-H and FFA members brought in 1,937 animals to showcase at the fair.
There were close to 748 livestock total that were sold in three different auctions bringing in over $797,000.
There were 54 steers sold at the first Junior Livestock Market Steers Auction bringing in $142,506; 94 heifers at the 43rd Annual Replacement Heifer Sale bringing in $220,375; and 600 animals sold at the 46th Junior Livestock Auction bringing in $434,794.
Last year, there were 693 animals sold at the 45th Junior Livestock Auction and 100 heifers sold at the 42nd Annual Replacement Heifer Sale.
Even though the Stanislaus County Fair dates landed smack dab in the middle of the State Fair run, livestock exhibitors seemed to make it work.
Both fairs allowed Junior Livestock exhibitors to compete at the state level before the county fair begun and the state fair officials allowed competitors to leave one day early to compete at the county level, said John Mendes, Livestock Superintendent for the Stanislaus County Fair. The county fair also allowed dairy exhibitors to leave a day early to compete at the state fair.
Changes to the run dates weren’t the only new things at the Stanislaus County Fair this year.
Borovansky took the helm from Anthony Leo, making this his first Stanislaus County Fair as CEO.
“I was very impressed,” he said. “I was most proud of watching families come early and stay late. It was a safe and fun place for families.”
After taking on his first fair here in Stanislaus County, Borovansky noticed a need for improvement in the traffic access. He also hopes to make the fair more relevant to the community.
“The fair doesn’t need a whole makeover,” he said. “But there is always room for improvement.”
He hopes to come together with staff and the Stanislaus County Fair Board of Directors to develop a traffic access plan and incorporate more technology into some of the exhibits.
Borovansky was most impressed with the Stanislaus County Fair’s community involvement and exhibits program.
“The exhibits program is the heart and soul of the fair,” Borovansky said. “It is the backbone of the fair and a reflection of the community. The community really participates in the fair.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.