Changes at this year's Big Fresno Fair

FRESNO, California

This year's improvements include an expanded children's play area and a new cattlemen's mural paying tribute to the Valley's agricultural roots. "We're going to be able to showcase our local cattlemen, kind of see where the trailblazers came from this area. I think it will be an area where people can go in and get educated and see where our roots came from in the cattle business," said Big Fresno Fair C.E.O. John Alkire.

The display features a mural, a huge tree, and a hidden tree house. James Powell, a Fresno builder, designed the feature. He said it has come a long way since his original sketch of a 60 foot tall cow. "You get an idea and it changes. People give their input, 'Okay, we should put trees in here... or maybe it should just be a tree... maybe we should put paintings.' It just evolves. That's just kind of the artistic process I use," said Powell.

Powell has also worked on other areas of the fairgrounds including a brand new tree house in the Table Mountain Rancheria Park, a children's play area. Crews have also constructed a new 17 and a half foot tall footbridge that connects Catfish Falls to the Water Tree.

The Kiddie Land carnival rides will also have a new location at this year's fair, in the middle of the racetrack. Visitors will use an underground tunnel to get to the kiddie rides. Alkire said the changes will create more room for children and adults. "That will open us up to expand our carnival much more and also make it safer," said Alkire.

Yosemite Station has also gotten new trees to replace its traditional beams. And, for the other kind of "nature calls", visitors will see newly renovated restrooms.

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