2014 fair theme revealed, Fred Schenk named new board president

2014 fair theme revealed, Fred Schenk named new board president
The two-plus-year term of President Adam Day, holding a commemorative photo of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, ended at the Oct. 8 meeting. He is replaced by Fred Schenk, third from right. Also on hand are, from left, General Manager Tim Fennell, new Vice President David Watson and board members Stephen Shewmaker and David Lizerbram. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

DEL MAR — Whether you take the long and winding road or buy a day-tripper transit ticket to ride, Del Mar Fairgrounds officials hope many will come together, right now in 2014 when next year’s San Diego County Fair celebrates the British Invasion. 

At the Oct. 8 meeting, the board of directors for the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which governs the fairgrounds, approved The Fab Fair as next year’s theme.

“We expect the public will be very happy with what we’re going to be putting out,” Director Fred Schenk said.

While few details were provided, activities, events and, most likely, performances will focus on The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who and other aspects of British culture that became popular in the 1960s.

Confirmed activities include two photography exhibits. One features backstage and behind-the-scenes photos of The Beatles. The other, “Give Peace a Chance,” commemorates the bed-in of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Also at the meeting, Schenk, who was serving as vice president, was named president, replacing Adam Day, who served in the position since June 2011.

“It’s been an honor,” Day said. “We’ve done a lot of work and there are a lot of accomplishments I’m proud of.

“I’d like to thank the board for allowing me to serve past the two-year mark,” he added.

Day was serving as vice president when Gov. Jerry Brown’s office told then-President Barry Nussbaum his term expired and he was not being reappointed, forcing him to step down the night before opening day of the fair.

“To say that he hit the ground running was truly an understatement,” Schenk said. “He used his resources … to really carry this district forward.”

Schenk, one of many attorneys on the board, was first appointed to the 22nd DAA by former Gov. Gray Davis. He served from 2002 to 2006 and was vice president during his final year. He was appointed again in 2011 by Brown.

“I’ve served under many presidents,” Schenk said to Day. “I am so impressed with your leadership and your dedication. … You have been a tremendous advocate for transparency and openness.”

The six board members present unanimously named Director David Watson as vice president.

In other 22nd DAA news, board members agreed to revisit proposals for alternate uses of Surfside Race Place during the February meeting.

Plans for a microbrewery, luxury theaters, a family entertainment center with high-tech bowling or a combination of all three were presented for the underused facility during the August meeting.

One proposal came from the fairgrounds.

The companies who submitted the other two were sent letters in late September stating the board tabled the matter until after the first of the year.

Director Stephen Shewmaker requested business cases for going forward be presented in February.

Watson, who sits on the Community Relations Committee, also announced the Shopper Shuttle will not be available during next year’s fair or horse race meet.

In an effort to decrease traffic and increase visitors to Del Mar and Solana Beach during those events, board members introduced the San Diego County Fair Shopper Shuttle two years ago.

“As we expected, no one’s riding those buses,” Watson said, adding that they were mostly used by people who wanted to get from the fairgrounds to the train station in Solana Beach.

“If people are coming to the fair or the races, they’re coming to the fair or the races,” he said. “They’re not coming to go to Del Mar or Solana Beach.”

He said officials from the two cities acknowledged the experiment was not successful.

“We gave it a good shot,” Watson said. “We agreed to try to move onto something different.”

The shuttle cost the fairgrounds an estimated $100,000 each year.

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