Big Fresno Fair Turnout May Reflect Local Economy

October 7, 2009 9:16:29 PM PDT
The Big Fresno Fair may offer a snapshot of how the local economy is faring.Judging from the turnout Wednesday there is reason for fair officials to be excited. Money's tight for everyone. That's why the fair is offering more deals for families on a budget.

The traffic jams which accompanied the Big Fresno Fair on day one are a good sign for the local economy. Despite these tough times, people are still lining up to get onto the fairgrounds for some family fun,

Brandon Vang said, "Economically, everything's still kind of difficult with jobs going out and everything but that can't bring us down with our family time. It doesn't matter. Everything should stay the same."

The Big Fresno Fair is a major economic driver for Fresno County.

Big Fresno Fair CEO John Alkire said, "The fair generates 68.5 million dollars of direct and indirect economic impact dollars annually. We employ over one-thousand people. We generate probably close a million dollars to the tax base."

Even during a recession, the San Diego County and Mid-State Fairs reported record high attendance this year. But Alkire says those fairs were the exception.

"They were about the only two fairs that were up. Everybody else has been flat or down so if we could be close to what we were last year I'll feel it's been a successful year," said Alkire.

To get more families in this year, the fair will offer more deals and cheaper admission ... such as two-dollar Tuesdays and three-dollar Wednesdays.

Great deals all the way around. Many people here say the fair is a tradition and it's still affordable ... and that brings them back.

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