Latest posts by Sarah Soghomonian (see all)
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The Big Fresno Fair is more than carnival rides and deep-fried food. There’s so much to do and see.
If you haven’t made it out to the fairgrounds yet this year, don’t worry—you still have time. The fair runs through Sunday, Oct. 15.
Here are six things you don’t want to miss before the fair ends.
1. Big (and Small) Entertainment
The Paul Paul Theater is the go-to place for big-name acts at the fair. This week, you can enjoy the Goo Goo Dolls, Ice Cube, Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, and more. I recently previewed this year’s concert line-up, so this time around I want to fill you in on some of the smaller entertainment acts you can enjoy at the fair.
The Pavilion Stage in the center of the fairgrounds has different acts throughout the day. Hypnotist Catherine Hickland performs daily and always gets a big crowd. Steve the Pretty Good Magician is entertaining families through Tuesday, and The Marshall Artist Speed Painter is doing his thing through Friday.
The Pavilion Stage is also where you will find local acts. For example, the Roosevelt High School Orchestra performs Friday and Cheer Force Central Valley takes the stage on Saturday.
You can see the entire list of performances here, or be sure to grab a fair guide at the entrance.
2. Live Horse Racing
The Big Fresno Fair has something most fairs don’t have: live horse racing! The fun takes place at the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand. You can place a bet for as little as $1. Post time is at 1:45 on weekdays at 12:45 on the weekends. There’s no racing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It’s free to get into the races on the ground floor, but you’ll pay $5 for a reserved seat. Get more info about horse racing here.
3. Awesome Local Exhibits
The Big Fresno Fair is all about celebrating all things Fresno County, including the talents of its residents. People like you and me can enter into exhibition things we make and grow.
You’ll find just about every kind of fruit and vegetable in the Agriculture Building. And the Fine Arts and Photography Building is full of amazing paintings, sculptures, and photographs.
The Greenhouse is where folks with a green thumb show off their horticulture talents. Home Arts is full of baked breads, cookies, and crafts.
Junior Exhibits showcases the work of Fresno County students—everything from art projects to welding.
Go inside and get inspired. Next year, your entries might bring home a blue ribbon! (Check out my article on how to show your arts and crafts at next year’s Big Fresno Fair here.)
4. Fresno County Historical Museum & Big Fresno Fair Museum
There’s a lot of history at the Big Fresno Fair. The Fresno County Historical Museum is a two-story, 14-thousand square foot building that tells the story of our region. It’s jam-packed with memorabilia. Go inside and learn about Fresno County’s rich sports, agriculture, and military traditions.
The Big Fresno Fair Museum tells the history of our fair. You’ll even spot a 1909 Blue Ribbon. How cool is that?!
5. Junior Livestock Auction
City folks may forget that there are lots of smaller cities and towns that make up Fresno County, and that many are rich in agriculture. 4-H and FFA students ages 9 to 19 take part in the Jr. Livestock Auction on Saturday, Oct. 14.
These students select, purchase, feed, and groom livestock to be judged, graded, and sold at the fair. The money raised goes towards future animals projects and, in many cases, their college fund.
6. Fair Food
What’s a fair without food?! The Big Fresno Fair has several new food options, including Eddie’s Asian-Inspired Cuisine. Located on the northeast side of the Fine Arts and Photography Building, the stand sells noodles, rice bows, and won tons.
The Gingerbread Shop is also new to the fair this year. Located on the east side of the Commerce Building, you’ll find pies and other goodies. There are even gluten-free options.
And, of course, favorites like Chicken Charlie’s, Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ, and Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls are on hand to fill you up!
Again, you have until Sunday (almost a full week!) to enjoy everything the Big Fresno Fair has to offer. To learn more about the fair, visit FresnoFair.com.