The Big Fresno Fair’s Board of Directors, management and staff have announced the successful completion of the 2022 Big Fresno Fair, which saw more families come out, stay longer and visit more than once to enjoy all that the annual tradition had to offer. In its post-pandemic run, 559,394 smiling fairgoers walked through the Fair gates over 12 days to enjoy the Big Fresno Fair, with its new attractions, competitive exhibits, free entertainment, live horse racing, carnival rides, Table Mountain Rancheria Park, fair food , concerts and educational programs. The 2022 fair ran from Oct. 5 through Oct. 16
“We are so proud of the hard work our more than 600 employees, plus vendors and entertainers, poured into creating the best Big Fresno Fair possible for our community,” said Lauri L. King, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. “Seeing the smiling faces of kids with their families, friends laughing together, couples walking hand-in-hand and exhibitors with their projects is why we do what we do. We are grateful for our community, for their support, for their love of this annual event; it is truly what makes ours one of the best fairs in the state!”
There was a 59 percent increase in advance tickets sales from 2021, signaling that the community planned ahead to save on discounted admission, season passes and unlimited carnival ride wristbands through online sales, and Save Mart, FoodMaxx and O’Reilly Auto Parts instore purchases.
As the only spot for live horse racing in the Central Valley, fairgoers showed up in big numbers to enjoy and wager on full race cards throughout the meet resulting in a 3.87 percent increase in on-track handle. During the seven days of live horse racing, there was a total of 62 races, 389 horse starts and zero equine athlete injuries thanks to the extensive work done to make Fresno’s track one of the safest on the fair racing circuit.
This year, Fair Management focused on providing even more free entertainment on the grounds. A record 14 strolling entertainers roamed the grounds, including Lanky the Clown, Violin on Fire Patrick Contreras, jugglers, stilt walkers and cowboys Slim & Curly. Plus, 2,500 hours of free entertainment were provided on the Fair’s seven community stages, featuring cover bands and local musicians and performance groups. Then, of course, the Table Mountain Rancheria Park with its life-size Pirate Ship, fishing at Catfish Falls, and gold panning at Miner’s Town, along with other Park attractions—all free for fairgoers to enjoy. There were also plenty of new attractions to enjoy like the Xpogo Stunt Team, camel rides, and exhibits in the Fresno County Historical Museum honoring the local Jewish and Germans from Russia communities, along with local Armenian artist Veraz Samuelian. Plus, the action-packed USA Boxing Championships and Lucha Xtreme. The return of the pop! Culture Experience building drew record crowds with its nostalgic video games, daily eSports competitions and an exhibition by the Fresno State eSports team. It also included a full, 12-day lineup of popular cosplay characters – all thanks to a partnership with Blue Shell Gaming. Other returning favorites were the Livin’ Local Marketplace that featured over 60 local artisans and Food Truck Alley.
The Paul Paul Theater was the place to be at the 2022 Big Fresno Fair for 12 nights of incredible shows that comprised the Table Mountain Concert Series presented by Modelo Especial and Toyota. Several performances were sold out, including shows by Ice Cube, Midland and Ladies Night Out featuring Ashanti and Baby Bash. Work has already begun on the 2023 Big Fresno Fair entertainment lineup.
Plans are already underway for next year’s Big Fresno Fair, which is scheduled for Oct. 4 through 15, 2023. The Big Fresno Fair, founded in 1884, is the fourth-largest fair in the state of California.