County fair ranked 8th in North America

DEL MAR — The International Association of Fairs and Expositions, an international trade organization, has ranked the San Diego County Fair as having the eighth largest attendance in North America according to its annual report.
Katie Phillips, exhibits manager for the fair, gave the board of directors an IAFE update during its monthly meeting Jan. 13 at the fairgrounds.
Last year’s attendance was 1,236,698, compared with 1,265,997 in 2007. However, it was noted the fair was a day shorter due to the opening of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
The State Fair of Texas ranked No. 1 in North America followed by the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Minnesota State Fair, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, the Canadian National Exhibition, the Los Angeles County Fair and the Calgary Stampede in Toronto. The Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa was ranked 13th and California State Fair in Sacramento came in at 23rd.
Del Mar received top agriculture awards in five categories including overall program for commercial exhibitors; video of a special or unique event; green program; consumer protection program; and nonfair agricultural event or program.
It also scored in six other categories including new or unique class of competitive exhibits; use of fair’s theme in new or unique competitive exhibits to increase the number of exhibitors; general competitive exhibit display photo; competitive exhibit display photo series; and general display photo or photo series.
Sherry Piper, executive secretary, and Donna Ruhm, exhibit supervisor of the Concessions Department, received 20-year recognition pins. Becky Bartling, deputy general manager, received a 15-year recognition pin.
Two grandstand entertainment contracts were approved. These were Creedence Clearwater Revisited, classic rock, June 30; and the Music of ABBA, classic pop, July 2.
This year’s fair runs June 12 through July 5.

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