Big money comes to central valley during Big Fair

FRESNO, Calif.

According to fair officials nearly $70 Million is pumped into the local economy from this 12 day celebration. One local restaurant and hundreds of out-of-work residents are hoping to capitalize on that.

Castillo's Mexican restaurant in Southeast Fresno is located about a mile from the Big Fresno Fair.

Their busiest day is usually Sunday but not this Sunday. Things are a little slow at the register.

However managers said business is better than years past. "We expected it to be slow but it is not. We're actually doing good so it's ok," said Karla Vargas who added the store's proximity to the fair helps.

John Alkire manages the Big Fresno fair's $10 Million budget. "Those dollars go back into our community. They're recycled back. As far as the economic direct and indirect impact to this community? $68.5 million a year," Alkire said.

Besides working to be a good business partner to the Central Valley Alkire said the fair also offers hundreds of jobs to the unemployed like greeter Dorothy Kumuliam. "There is no work. So to get a job here is a luxury."

"For the economy and my dad, he's looking for work while we're doing this," said resident John Romo.

Those who did not land a job with the fair and live nearby are offering up their yards to make some cash.

"We've been living here about ten years. About ten years doing this with our yard. Making about $60, $70 a day parking cars," Romo said.

Despite stretched wallets it appears many families are still finding a way to enjoy the fair and all it has to offer. "The food is a big reason to come so you know I think the only thing we kind of do is stay away from the rides. Anything that would add extra charges." Fairgoer Carlos Hernandez said.

Fair officials are aware that not everyone has the means to enjoy the fair. That is why they are offering several upcoming discount days at the fair like Two Dollar Tuesdays, One dollar Wednesdays at the carnival and a can drive Thursday: four cans for one ticket.

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