Fun, food, entertainment and plenty more awaits Valley families at the 2017 Big Fresno Fair which kick-off Oct. 4, marking the fair’s 134 year showcasing the best in Fresno County.
According to fair officials, more than 600,000 fairgoers attend the fair each year during the 12 days the fair takes place.3
“We are so proud of our annual fair. It continues to be bigger and better each year,” said Fresno County Board of Supervisors vice chairman, Sal Quintero, adding that under the current leadership team, their efforts and their continue improvements, doesn’t go unnoticed.
Quintero said the creation of the Fresno County Historical museum at the fair, which led to a fourth Merrill Award – the highest award given in the fair industry by the Western Fair Association.
He said the museum “is something so incredible for our community to preserve our history, to showcase stories, to provide future generations of Fresno County past.”
“It is truly a gift to the community this museum at the fair grounds,” Quintero said, adding that “fairs bring people together.”
Quintero said the fair is a celebration of the county’s past, present and future.
City of Fresno Mayor, Lee Brand said the fair “showcase the best of the best. There is something to do for the entire family including exhibits, horse racing, carnival rides, games, and food.”
“The fair also showcases one of the best livestock pavilions in California,” Brand said.
“The Fresno Fair means so much to a lot of us in the community,” said City of Fresno councilmember Luis Chavez, adding that as a kid he would listen to the radio commercials of the Fresno Fair that built the excitement.
Chavez said he was proud of the work the fair has done to give back to the community.
Big Fresno Fair CEO, John C. Alkire said one of the most interactive and an educational exhibit at the fair is the Mexican-Americans in the San Joaquin Valley exhibit.
“It basically tells everything about the Hispanic story, how they came to this Valley,” Alkire said.
He said the fair will educate people about the diverse cultural diversity that exits in this county.
During the opening ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 4, there was a special presentation to recognize the 2017 “Feed the Need” Food Drive Efforts which supports Community Food Bank, The Salvation Army and the Fresno State Student Cupboard.
Also the 2017 Community Champion Awards were presented in the youth, volunteer and humanitarian categories.
The Youth award went to Ananya Vinay, for her dedication, hard work and no-quit attitude which make her a role model for youth. She impacted hundreds of thousands of youth as she became the first individual from Fresno to claim the title of Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion in June.
The Volunteer award was posthumously awarded to Peter Belezzuoli and Ralph Loya, both Central Valley natives from Hanford who demonstrated an incredible commitment to their community, youth and the Big Fresno Fair and always went about and beyond for their students, positively affecting them and the community.
The humanitarian award was posthumously awarded to Mike McGarvin “Papa Mike” who dedicated his life to the individuals that are unnoticed by most the homeless. He founded the Poverello House 47 years ago to serve those in most need in Fresno.
This year 2017 Big Fresno Fair Hall of Fame Inductees included Don Hunsucker, Powers Construction & Engineering Inc., Jon Semper, A-Plus Signs and Parlier Lion’s Club.