Big Fresno Fair honoring Fresno County's culture

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In the heart of the Big Fresno Fairgrounds you can find the Fresno County Historical Museum. (KFSN)

Big times are back in the Central Valley and with them an ode to the past. In the heart of the Big Fresno Fairgrounds you can find the Fresno County Historical Museum.

From the hanging chandeliers of the White Theatre to a travertine piece of the Mars Drive In entryway, every inch tells a story.

Fair CEO John Alkire said the museums debut surpassed expectations, so this year they are in full force.

"We have a lot of stories to tell and a lot of things to be proud of in Fresno County. We've tried to showcase a lot of those people and a lot of those stories this year."

Like the tribute wall for Fresno's leading business man and philanthropist Leon S. Peters.

The two story, 14,000 square foot museum isn't confined by its walls.

"Around the perimeter of the museum, and around the Paul Paul Theatre, were trying to bring back old Fresno-- were bringing back old iconic signs," said Alkire.

Like the original Hallowell Chevrolet sign, Basque Motel sign and the original Mister Lester Burger.

"This year were excited about previewing and unveiling the most exciting sign in Fresno and that's the Hacienda sign that was out on Highway 99 for years," said Alkire.

Visit the old Fresno Courthouse, complete with the century old courtroom furnishings and two of the goddesses of justice that were once on top. Or visit with friends at the Cosmo at the original bar.

Now in its second year museum curators are already planning an expansion.

"We're always wanting to improve ourselves, to make it better. There's always stories that we weren't even aware of that are going to walk right through the front door," said Alkire.

The iconic Fresno Motel and Sunnyside Bowl signs are being restored for their unveiling next year.

The museum is open to the public from the time gates open until 9:00 p.m. and open year round by appointment only.
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