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The Big Fresno Fair is back in business (VIDEO)

UPDATE: Oct. 16

[/media-credit] In 1884 the first Big Fresno Fair opened its gates for a five-day horse race meet, along with a few scattered produce displays here and there. This year the Big Fresno Fair will run, Oct. 1-13.

After the fair was in full swing, Nicole Hudecek and Skyler Lee, writers, attended the Beach Boys concert, and reviewed the entertainment via podcast, below, adjacent to the topic at hand.

This is one of two installments featured informing the students body on the happenings at The Big Fresno Fair. This features the Fresno Fair as a whole, specializing in the history and miscellaneous events. The next installment will feature all things art including the annual chalk art contest as well as the junior exhibit.

In 1884 the first Big Fresno Fair opened its gates for a five-day horse race meet, along with a few scattered produce displays here and there. The fair was a fun local attraction until 1910 when Clyde Eberhart made The Big Fresno Fair into a national exposition with the Raisin Day parade, frequent celebrity appearances and some of the first aero-plane rides in the nation.

Now in 2014. The Big Fresno Fair has grown into the fifth largest fair in California, attracting over 550,000 patrons every year and nearly $68.6 million in economic impact to Fresno County annually.

The 14-day run of the fair attracts local patrons in many ways. The golden delicacies that originate from the simmering deep frier are one of the biggest crowd drawers. This year the fair will run Oct. 1-13.

Gyros to hamburgers to shish kabob, the fair has it all. Featured foods at the fair range from deep fried alligator and Oreos to Country Fair cinnamon rolls. It is a great way to experience a plethora of foreign foods as well as beloved domestic junk food concoctions.

With over 300 different vendors featured at the fair, most any kind of taste can be satisfied. A new hit at the fair this year is Southern Comfort Kitchen; the kitchen features real southern cuisine.

The menu contains various southern dishes ranging from fried alligator to creole shrimp. The Brill brothers moved to California 25 years ago and have not looked back since. Jason Brill described what makes the kitchen successful.

“We catch the gators ourselves,” Brill said. “Just kidding we don’t but we do have the gators shipped to us from Louisiana on a weekly basis.”

The recipe is a secret, but Brill gave a little hint as to what makes the deep fried gator a fair delicacy.

“We marinate our gator in buttermilk then soak it in hot sauce to give it a great flavor,” Brill said.

Deep fried swamp creatures and various candy bars are not the only foods that fair goers look forward to every year. Every where you look while walking down the main fair avenue, you will see a crowd of people lined up waiting to partake in the sizzling carne asada served at the many Original Soft Taco stands.

While all these foods might bring water to the roof of an eager fair attendant’s mouth, one food stands out as the apparent king of all fair cuisine. Located in the far back corner, but well worth every single step it takes to get there, is the Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls stand.

Established in 1978, Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls is a family run business originating from Oakhurst. Son-in-law of founder and current co-owner, Dane Baldwin, shared the history between his stand and The Big Fresno Fair.

“The cinnamon rolls have been at the fair for almost 30 years, this will personally be my 26th years here,” Baldwin said. “Every year we go the fair, our success goes up and up and up. This has been a, surprisingly, very good year for us.”

The statistics involved in creating so many cinnamon rolls is truly unbelievable.

“We, as a family, attend about 55 events a year,” Baldwin continued. “Most of the events we attend are fairs and we sell the most product during fairs. We do not keep track of the number cinnamon rolls we sell, but here at the Fresno Fair alone, we will have go through over 21 tons of flower.”

One of the main reasons a fair is held in the first place is for local farmers and/or ranchers to exhibit their most prized stock of the year. These various commodities, which are displayed in different buildings all over the fair grounds, are open for public viewing.

The agricultural building and show at the fair this year features table and wine rapes from all across the valley, including new breeds of grapes. The central valleys agricultural production is second to no region in the country.

Farmers and Ranchers have been competing and striving to perfect and advance agricultural products for generations. The fair provides a venue to display their hard work.

FFA, better known as Future Farmers of America is an organization that holds livestock competitions between high school students. Most schools in outlying areas have FFA programs due to there connection with the land.

Livestock that is show ranges from polish rabbits to holstein cattle and everything furry and feathered in between. Makayla Furse, ’17, of Central High School has participated in the FFA program at her school for two years now and loves the prep work that goes into showing her polish rabbit at FFA events.

“Positioning the rabbit during the show is a very crucial point in scoring of the judges,” Furse said. “A lot of brushing, combing, and grooming goes into getting my rabbit ready. I do my best to make him look good and hide some of his flaws.”

Art is another key component to the Big Fresno Fair, art work from students in high school as well as local adult artists is featured and judged. Over 500 pieces are on display in the fine arts and junior arts buildings at the fair grounds. This year, FC submitted three pieces of art done by various students, to be displayed the junior arts building.

Along with the junior exhibit, other entertainment such as concerts, including artists and bands are arriving to the fair grounds. Each night is booked with a different entertainer, from the beginning till end.

Nicole Hudecek and Skyler Lee, writers, reviewed the Beach Boys band after attending their concert, Oct. 7.

(PODCAST) Beach Boys back in town–

The Big Fresno Fair is an event that is highly anticipated throughout the whole entire central valley. Sophomore, Olivia Torres from Kingsburg, explained why she loves the fair and what her favorite attractions are.

“I have come with my schools marching band the last two years to be in the parade,” Torres said. “I love all the good food, because it is like my one chance in the whole year that I can a piece of fried chicken between two donuts. It is also pretty fun to visit all booths and shop while we wait to perform.”

If anyone would like partake in the festivities that are offered at The Big Fresno Fair, it runs from Oct. 1-13. It is located at the Fresno Fairgrounds on Kings Canyon and South Chance Ave..

Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather. These writers can be reached via Twitter: @namoodnhoj and @2015beal.

For more features, read the Oct. 2 article, Multimedia position filled: Video Productions.

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    Chris GrossmanAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    You’ve had a great season guys, finish strong!