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Fair draws record number of visitors
The Stanislaus County Fair ended its arena events with "Fiesta Del Charro" Sunday. Various events such as bull riding, dancing horses and sky diving into the arena ended the fair season with flare. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Nearly a quarter of a million visitors made their way to Turlock and the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds for the fair's annual 10-day this year, which included adrenaline-rushing rides, unforgettable celebrity concerts and countless exhibitions for all to enjoy.    

During its 10-day run from July 10-19, this year’s fair attracted nearly 249,000 guests, a seven percent increase from last year’s event and the highest attendance the fair has seen in the past 11 years . The fair has steadily increased attendance by approximately 10,000 visitors each year since 2012.

Fair concessions and Butler Amusement also experienced more business this year, reporting an eight percent increase compared to 2014.

 “We consider ourselves very lucky to have such a supportive community,” said fair spokesperson Adrenna Alkhas. “The fair at its core has a lot of history imbedded on its grounds and is a special event for the community.”

This year’s fair also brought in 1,862 children who signed up for the Kids Club program and completed educational passports earning them a chance to win a two-day Disneyland grand prize package.

Additionally, the fair’s free Park ‘N Ride experienced its own success and exceeded fair officials’ expectations by transporting more than 14,524 people from free parking lots at California State University, Stanislaus and Pitman High School to the historic Stanislaus County Fair Arch Gate.

Over 30,000 fair guests also took advantage of the Free ‘Til 3 p.m. events on both Sundays, which provided an opportunity for guests to attend the fair at no cost. 

 “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 CEO Chris Borovansky.

The 2015 fair also welcomed nearly 30,000 individual entries for exhibition, 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 during fair auctions exceeding $1.3 million. Future Farmers of America and 4-H members sold 125 heifers at the 48th Annual Replacement Heifer Sale, which grossed $455,100 or approximately $3,696.73 per head.

Mya O’Brien from the Shiloh 4-H program was the Supreme Champion and with her heifer selling for $7,000. Lilianna Garcia from Turlock Hoot-N-Horns was Reserve Supreme Champion and sold her heifer for $3,600.

The 51st Annual Junior Livestock Auction brought in $846,603.17 for FFA and 4-H members. Four poultry pens, 27 rabbits, 168 goats, 165 sheep, 392 swine and 35 steers were sold at auctions during this year’s fair.

Additionally, this year’s fair provided seven nights of motorsports, two nights of rodeo and a laser light show in the FoodMaxx Arena. Both destruction derbies were also well attended.