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Fair records high attendance for 2012 run
fair pic1
During the 2012 Stanislaus County Fair, 540 children signed up for the Kidz Club program and completed educational passports. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Over 221,000 people visited the Stanislaus County Fair during its 2012 10-day run, marking it as another strong year.

“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.”

The 2012 attendance numbers were down from 2011 — which saw over 245,000 visitors during the fair’s centennial celebration — more than the 209,108 visitors from 2010, and but not near as high as 2009’s 15-year high of 227,200 visitors.

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 the Turlock Salvation Army collected 3,191 donated toys and other 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 from the parking lots of California State University, Stanislaus and Pitman High School also exceeded officials’ expectations, delivering more than 13,000 guests to the historic Arch Gate.

“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 livestock area saw some changes this year with animals coming in a few days before the fair opened.  Livestock entry numbers increased and the new schedule made more room available for animals being exhibited.  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 Seirra 4-H, whose hog weighed in at 263 pounds and sold for $6,575.  The 3rd Annual Junior Livestock Market Steer Auction grossed $212,819 with 64 steers sold.