Thousands beat the heat at the Annual Ventura County Fair

Fireworks was limited to weekends this year. Some liked it some didn’t.

The Ventura County Fair is proud and happy to report another successful Fair. Celebrating the diverse traditions of Ventura County, the 143rd edition, “A Country Fair with Ocean Air” closed with thousands having come out to enjoy the 12-day event, many returning for the first time since making the Fairgrounds their home during the December Thomas Fire evacuations.

The Ventura County Fair’s mission is to preserve, promote, and showcase agriculture and the traditions of Ventura County, this was accomplished with competitive livestock and horse shows, agricultural exhibits and baking contests.

Fairgoers were greeted with an abundance of attractions, which included Fido 500 Dog Races, Star Child Stilt Circus, who delighted young and old as they strolled high above the Fair, and Gus Flamingo, the hilarious magician in the Youth Expo. Tasty new food offerings like Cajun Catfish and Lobster Mac & Cheese pleased the taste for new summer treats while the mini donuts and turkey legs satisfied the traditional cravings of Fairgoers.

Despite extremely hot and humid weather, attendance was strong at 299,011.  By the virtues of comfort, variety, safety, cleanliness and value the Fair was a success.

“We are always working on ways to make the Fair a better experience for our visitors.” said Fair CEO Barbara Quaid, who once again shared the Fair’s winning formula: “For us the focus is not about the numbers of people coming through the gates, but about the quality of the experience our guests have at the Fair. We measure our success by the number of smiles on the faces of the Fairgoers.  The Fair is committed to offering a clean, safe and fun experience that visitors will remember forever.”

A new carnival layout welcomed thrill seekers lending a sense of rediscovery to the already exciting midway. The Star Tower was a new addition that took riders up 100 feet to swing high above the lights in the ocean air.

Nearly 16,000 County residents entered art, crafts, projects and other curiosities in the competitive exhibits, winning prizes and sharing their talents with Fair visitors.

Free entertainment was one of the features that drew so many to the Fair, not only the top name Concerts including Sublime with Rome, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and Hunter Hayes but local bands were a huge favorite. Crowds came out to enjoy and lend their support for local entertainers including KNS Rockstar, 99 Mondays, Crooked Eye Tommy, Aaron Pax Taylor, Hard Six, The Rockin’ Henrys, Dezmo’s Blues, Revelry Country, Doc Rogers Band, and many others.

As is the case every year, overall success would not be possible without the tremendous support of the sponsors and the community. While the gates have closed on the 2018 Ventura County Fair, planning is already underway for the 2019 Fair.

The Ventura County Fair entertained thousands of guests and participants. It employs up to 700 seasonal staff during the annual 12-day event. With annual attendance of approximately 300,000 visitors to the Fair, the communities throughout Ventura County share in the economic vitality derived from the Ventura County Fair. The Fair brings economic, social, educational, and cultural resources and provides lasting impressions on Fairgoers. While agriculture is the heart of the Fair, it’s the diverse entertainment that typically draws Fairgoers through the gates. Known for free top name concerts, the Fair takes pride in the overall dynamics and diversity of the entertainment, the esthetics and cleanliness of the grounds, as well as the vast educational and innovative exhibits that are showcased throughout the Fair each year.

Reflecting on the Fair Breeze contributing writer Jennifer Tipton stated.

“When I think about our Fair here in Ventura, I can almost feel the crisp ocean breeze and smell the corn dogs and cotton candy wafting alongside the scents of hay and livestock. I love the animals, from the 4h kids proudly showing the pig or lamb they’ve raised themselves and then bravely saying goodbye, to Uncle Leo’s Little Red Barn with those baby pigs! Other favorite attractions are the agriculture and photography buildings, its fun to get landscaping ideas and to see our local artistic talent. And always a challenge is to time it just right, to be on top of the Ferris wheel when the fireworks start – best seat in the house! “

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