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Fair boasts high attendance for 2022 run
The 2022 Stanislaus County Fair saw an overall increase in the number of animal entries. Pictured above is Turlock Granger member Erica Figueroa helping Bailey Tucker walk her pig during the Kiddie Showmanship event (Journal file photo).

The return of the full run of the Stanislaus County Fair this summer following COVID restrictions was a resounding success as Fair officials announced over 270,000 visitors made their way to the Turlock fairgrounds to enjoy the petting zoo, BMX shows, duck races, midway rides, corn dogs and all the other attractions at the 109th Fair.

The Fair drew in over 270,447 guests during its 10-day run, a 4 percent increase from 2019.  The Fair opened on July 8 and concluded its annual run on July 17. Fair concessions were up 38 percent and Butler Amusement, the fair ride operator, was up 30 percent compared to 2019. 

"This year was a huge success with a lot of support from our local communities. After coming out of COVID, we were unsure what to expect, but the community knew what it wanted. It wanted a good summer fair,” said Matt Cranford, Chief Executive Officer of the Stanislaus County Fair.  

Nearly 10,285 individual entries were exhibited at the 2022 Fair, from orchids and quilts to Ag Mechanics and Ag Horticulture.

Jon Chapman, a senior at Turlock High School, was one of the hundreds of local FFA students who showed animals at the Fair.

“I was in 4-H since I was nine up until middle (school) and joined FFA once in high school. This year is a lot different from the past few as we’re getting back into a full swing. The fair is always fun to be with friends, hang out and show cows,” he said.

Livestock increased in entry numbers with total gross sale of animals sold at the fair auctions over $1.5 million. Future Farmers of America (FFA), Granger and 4-H members sold 81 heifers at the 54th Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, grossing $350,500 ($4.868.06 per head) Reserve Supreme Champion was Adison Machado, from Central Catholic FFA, selling her heifer at $8,100. 

The 55th Annual Junior Livestock Auction grossed $683,331.90 for FFA and 4-H members. Sold at auction were 69 rabbits/poultry, 259 lambs/goats, 146 sheep, and 221 swine. The 55th Annual Market Beef auction grossed $531,361.75 and sold 71 steers.

The excitement of Truck and Tractor pulls, Monster Trucks, PRCA Rodeo, and Bloodless Bullfights in the FoodMaxx Arena were welcomed by Fair guests. All of the arena events were heavily attended with sold-out shows on many evenings.

All 10 free celebrity concerts on the Coors Light Variety Free Stage were very well received. WAR, Smash Mouth, Karla Perez as “Selena”, Sean Kingston, Gary Allan, Bone Thugs-N- Harmony, Danielle Bradbery, Night Ranger, and Luis Coronel drew in large crowds.

Guests enjoyed many discount promotions including the Fair’s Free ‘Til 3 p.m. on Sundays. Over 47,000 guests took advantage on ways to save money and attend the fair.