Fair board hopes for attendance bump

The San Diego County Fair is ranked the sixth largest fair in the United States and the eighth largest in North America according to the “Top 50 Fairs in North America in 2008” report published by


The fair drew the fifth largest attendance in the U.S. in 2007.

“We bumped down slightly,” said Tim Fennell, general manager of the fairgrounds, at a Jan. 13 board meeting.

“Attendance was down slightly because we had 21 days not 22.”

The fair opened one day late to accommodate the U.S. Open last year.

Fennell predicted that with a full run schedule in 2009 they would reclaim their fifth-place spot behind the State Fair of Texas, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and Los Angeles County Fair.


The San Diego County Fair received 11 awards from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions for several of its agricultural and competitive exhibits.

Of those, the most prestigious and surprising was the best overall competitive exhibit award for the United States, said Katie Phillips, exhibitions manager.


In other fairgrounds news, Kelly Burt and Barry Nussbaum were reappointed for another year as president and vice president of the 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors. The officers typically serve two years, but their positions are approved at the beginning of each calendar year. Fennell will continue to serve in his traditional role as secretary and treasurer.