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Big Fresno Fair means big business for entire area

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From the beer garden to the bayou, the 165-acre facility offers hundreds of hours of entertainment for its patrons. First weekend numbers surpassed last years and Saturday alone brought in more than 75,000 people. (KFSN)

Big times are proving to be more places than the Big Fresno Fair. It's never business as usual when the fair rolls into town.

"We are the largest event that runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles and after 133 years, we are very proud that we are still local," Big Fresno Fair deputy manager Lauri King said.

From the beer garden to the bayou, the 165-acre facility offers hundreds of hours of entertainment for its patrons. First-weekend numbers surpassed last years and Saturday alone brought in more than 75,000 people.

"The fair has just continued to grow and that's just adding more economic impact," King said.

An independent study conducted in 2002 shows the Big Fresno Fair contributes close to $69 million in economic impact to Fresno County per year.

"Southeast Fresno is booming by the time we get there," King said.

Over the 12 day span, the Big Fresno Fair creates close to 1,200 jobs and attracts more than 650,000 people. The surplus of vendors and fairgoers impacts the local economy even across town.

"It just means we get busier and busier," Kuppa Joy manager Lexie Fabbian said. "It's awesome."

Already beefing up staff at both of its locations because of the change in weather, Kuppa Joy is prepared for an influx of customers.

They said the Big Fresno Fair is adding fresh faces to the mix.

"We were definitely busy," Fabbian said. "I don't know if it was because they were coming here for breakfast and then going to the fair later but it was definitely busier."

"It's a good draw for the area," said Carole Lester, who is the Executive Director of Business Organization in Old Town Clovis. "People who come from out of town want to see what Old Town Clovis is all about they've heard of us so they'll come in from out of the area."

Though the first weekend of the Big Fresno Fair meant a quieter one for Old Town Clovis.

"Generally you can't find a space on Pollasky so that tells us that is has an impact fewer people on the street," Lester explained.

Business organization of Old Town Clovis members said they appreciate the new business that comes to town come fair time.

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