Big Fresno Fair announces new weekend youth admissions policy

ByBig Fresno Fair (PRESS RELEASE) KFSN logo
Thursday, September 28, 2017

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Big Fresno Fair Board and Management announced new admission policies for the 2017 Big Fresno Fair, October 4 through the 15th. In an effort to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all Fair guests, the following new admission policies will be enforced as described in the new weekend admission policy: all guests on Fridays and Saturdays are required to wear a wristband provided at the point of entry at all times while inside of the Fair. Any guests not wearing the designated wristband will be subject to questioning and could be asked to leave the Fair. Additionally, guests will not be able to re-enter the Fair on Friday and Saturday nights after 9 p.m. Furthermore, as part of the new Youth Admission Policy, all minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (age 21+) in order to be admitted into the Fair after 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

"The mission of The Big Fresno Fair is to celebrate, educate and have fun, which is why we have always had a zero tolerance position on negative behavior, said John C. Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. The new admission policies are intended to foster a safe and comfortable atmosphere for all guests. Although many entertainment venues already have their own similar admission guidelines, this is the first time our Fair has formally outlined weekend admission policies that could subject violators to being asked to leave the Fair."

The Big Fresno Fair is the largest annual event in the Central Valley and the fifth largest in the State of California, attracting more than 600,000 visitors during the 12-day event. As such, the Fair's top priority is providing a safe and healthy environment for Fairgoers to enjoy. The Fair Management Team takes this huge responsibility seriously. Prior to instituting the new weekend admission policies, Fair Management researched similar policies at other venues, and consulted with Chief Jerry Dyer and the Fresno Police Department, which manages the onsite security, as well as Fresno County Private Security, which works in tandem with the Fresno Police Department to provide security at the Fair. All parties unanimously agreed the new weekend admission policies were a step in the right direction and will help deter unbecoming behavior of attendees that might disrupt the positive experience of paid guests.

"The Big Fresno Fair is not only the largest, but the safest public event in the Central Valley. That is due to the hard work of Fair Management and their continued commitment to collaborate with the Fresno Police Department to take the necessary steps to provide the safest event possible," said Chief Dyer, Fresno Police Department. "This new Weekend Admission Policy will further support the message that if you're looking for trouble, the Fair is not the place to be. Our officers and private security will ensure a family-friendly Fair. We look forward to seeing the entire community enjoy this anticipated annual tradition."

A link to policies is on all Fair social media platforms. Policy signs are also posted at the entrance and exits of each of the four main Fair parking lots, and at each of the four admission gates. Public Service Announcements will be played over the loud speaker each day inside the Fair and at admission gate entrances. Video announcements will also play on the Paul Paul Theater and Grandstand jumbotrons.

Newly written Fair Guidelines and a Code of Conduct have also been posted for all visitors to view on prior to visiting the Fair this year. Once on grounds, Management encourages guests to report inappropriate behavior to Fair security and management to help us improve the experience for all attendees.

"We always strive to make the Fair bigger and better each year. That mindset isn't limited to attractions; it reaches all the way to operations, said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager II of The Big Fresno Fair. We've listened to Fairgoer feedback, watched industry trends and conferred with our safety partners during this process. We believe the new policies, guidelines and code of conduct will be well-received by the community-at-large based upon the many policies that already exist today at other local and national entertainment venues."

The Big Fresno Fair contracts annually with the Fresno Police Department to oversee Fair security operations. Security at The Big Fresno Fair is managed by Captain Michael Reid, Deputy Chief Andrew Hall, Lt. Richard Tucker and Sgt. Dave Gibeault of the Traffic Division of the Fresno Police Department. At any given time, there are roughly 60 - 80 police officers throughout the grounds (depending upon crowd size) and at the gates, plus additional officers patrolling outside the Fair gates. The Big Fresno Fair works year-round with the Fresno Police Department to develop a comprehensive security plan and then meets throughout the year with all safety partners to discuss the implementation of that plan.

Fresno County Private Security is also contracted by The Big Fresno Fair to work in conjunction with the Fresno Police Department and other contracted Fair security to further ensure the safety of Fair patrons. This is the eighth year that The Big Fresno Fair has worked with Fresno County Private Security and they perfectly complement the uniformed Fresno Police officers on grounds, working collectively to provide the safest environment possible for Fairgoers.