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California State Fair returns to 18 day run
Up 7% from 2007
By MCW Staff
Sacramento -- The California State Fair wrapped up its 155th year on Labor Day, Monday, September 1, with the nightly fireworks finale.
"This year,s Fair was a tremendous hit with fairgoers," said Norb Bartosik, CEO and General Manager of the California Exposition & State Fair. "We celebrated 18 days of California music, art, culture, agriculture, and entertainment. Plus we showed everyone how the State Fair Goes Hollywood"
Fair officials reported total attendance (unaudited) was approximately 790,000, an increase of nearly seven percent over 2007.
The 2008 State Fair was two days longer than the 2007 State Fair so there is no direct day-to-day comparison in attendance. But Fair officials were pleased with the attendance figures in light of the struggling economy and the Fair,s schedule change.
"We,re thrilled with this year,s attendance," Bartosik said. "With the transition back to an 18-day run with Mondays open, we didn,t know what to expect. But the numbers show that despite the change in schedule, the warm weather and the cool economy, Californians came out in droves to support the Fair and for that we say thanks!"
On Sunday, August 31 was a Sunday record for closing weekend with more than 100,000 patrons passing through he gates. Many vendors experienced record-breaking sales over closing weekend, including the midway operator Ray Cammack Shows, and Chicken Charlie, a popular food vendor whose new deep-fried White Castle burger, Spam & pineapple, PopTarts, and cheese raviolis were some of the newest members of the fried-food family.
The State Fair drew large crowds for big name acts like the Doodelbops, Vanessa Hudgens, Gary Allan, Chicago and Weird Al Yankovic.
The "Going Hollywood" theme was very well received said fair officials, as was the return of live thoroughbred racing in the Miller Lite Grandstand.
"Our goal was to put on a great Fair, and we definitely accomplished that," Bartosik said. "With the help of our partners and staff, we pulled off another exceptional year."