Big Fresno Fair Opening Day

October 1, 2008 6:56:12 PM PDT
The first day is always exciting. It is Senior Day so thousands have come through the gates. Fair organizers say they're offering more coupons and discounts this year than any other year hoping it will attract more visitors. It wouldn't be the official start of the Big Fresno Fair without the Roosevelt High School Marching Band. Opening ceremonies brought in city, county and state leaders to kick off what is this year a 13 day affair. One that provides a huge economic boost for the community.

Fresno City Councilmember Mike Dages said, "$68.6 million dollars to the county of Fresno. That's a tremendous amount of money on an annual basis."

The Kings Canyon road entrance has been refurbished to allow fairgoers to stand in line in a safe place.

"We did the special project because it's our 125 birthday."

It cost about half a million dollars. The city and the fair will split the bill. Fair Ceo John Alkire says his biggest challenge this year is the economy.

Big Fresno Fair Ceo John Alkire said, "And we have met those challenges with offering more discount coupons than we've ever offered before."

Alkire says the incentives seem to be working. More people bought discounted admission tickets and wristbands than ever before. And concert tickets are also big sellers this year.

"I would think with the economy we wd be 2 or 3,000 tickets behind last year but we're 3,400 tickets ahead of last year, same day. So that tells me the entertainment is a little better, a little more diversified."

Kids and adults will definitely be entertained by the new Dairyville USA exhibit. A gassy cow explains the process of how manure is turned into methane gas. And if horse racing is your speed make sure to check out the new 80-thousand dollar tote board at the race track.

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