Big Fresno Fair successful even after showers

The rain started just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, sending many at the Fresno Fairgrounds scrambling for shelter.
October 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The rain started just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, sending many at the Fresno Fairgrounds scrambling for shelter.

Maria Catano who works at the Pepe's Mariscos food stand says the heavy rain made many of her customers run to the indoor exhibits to pass the time and wait for the showers to stop.

"They disappeared for the five minutes that it was raining," she said. "But then when the water was gone they rushed back out here like nothing happened."

Catano and other food vendors covered up their registers when the brief but heavy downpour started. By late afternoon, many of those covers were taken off.

"It's not the Fresno Fair unless it rains once a year, it has to rain once a year," Catano said.

The fair was covered in gray skies much of Wednesday afternoon. There were gusts of winds, a drop in temperatures and plenty of puddles. Don Veldhuizen says he prefers it that way.

"The weather makes it a good fair day, not too many people," Veldhuizen said. "That's a killer when you got to walk through crowds."

Veldhuizen was at the fair with his fianc? and kids. They were there to try the rides as Wednesday was $1 Carnival Ride Day. The winds weren't strong enough or the rain hard enough to have to shut down the rides.

Lauri King, deputy manager at The Big Fresno Fair, says the weather didn't seem to affect attendance. She saw crowd sizes typical of a weekday afternoon.

"I Think people have planned ahead and watched the weather reports," King said.

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias performed at the Paul Paul Theatre Wednesday night. The amphitheater fits about 5,000 people. Fair officials say it's the first sold out show of the fair this year, and the weather wasn't going to stop anyone from showing up or having a good time.

"We are still trending exceptionally well," King said. "It has just been a great run of the fair so far." The fair is on track to top the 2012 attendance, when the fair saw 577,480 people. King said Wednesday temperature hasn't changed that projection.


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