The attendance at the 87th San Benito County Fair dropped
slightly from the prior year, but Chief Executive Officer Kelley
Ferreira deemed the event a success and
The attendance at the 87th San Benito County Fair dropped slightly from the prior year, but Chief Executive Officer Kelley Ferreira deemed the event a success and “pleasant weekend.”
More than 18,000 people attended the three-day event that included truck pulls, livestock and agriculture produce auctions. Attendance dropped a little more than 200 people despite increases both Friday and Sunday.
Ferreira attributed the slight decrease to the Salinas Airshow taking place over the same weekend, he said. But the event was still a success, packing in people for the auctions and the popular truck pulls.
“There was a very pleasant feeling throughout the fair,” Ferreira said. “Everything just clicked. It’s always a push to get it opened, but once it opened up it just clicked and went well.”
Slight changes to the weekend’s schedule from past years also allowed more revenue to the park later in the days, he said. The fair moved up the start time for the truck pulls and mud drags, two popular events, to allow attendees to go through the fair afterward.
“Vendors were thanking me for the change,” he said.
The event started with a family- and kid-orientated day by allowing children under age 12 in for free. The day kicked off with a School Tour that allowed the kids to experience the fair for themselves.
A wide variety of vendors that included mostly fried food took up a portion of the festivities – the rest as usual was taken up by carnival rides and the livestock area.
For the kids, the main draw seemed to be the animals and rides. Parents and teenagers raved about the food.
“It’s important to have something like this,” Hollister resident Tina Herrera said Friday. “To be here with family is important. We’ll be together here for all three days.”
Herrera was at the fair with a pair of kids who loved the animals, she said.
“It’s because they get to touch them,” Herrera said. “All those little things.”
For Herrera it was the food that brought her there.
“I don’t know why – I think it is the variety,” she said. “I like the different variation and the deep-fried food.”
Herrera’s daughter Desiree Mendez enjoyed it because she can meet people from around the town, she said.
“You actually get to meet people from Hollister,” she said. “It has a hometown feeling.”
And it’s the small-town feeling that makes it so enjoyable, Herrera said.
“It seems just right,” she said.
Others, including Katie Valencia, wanted to support their hometown and community.
“We came here to get out and do something and to come and support Hollister,” she said.
Hollister resident Jarrod Fassio said it’s a rare opportunity to do something with kids in the community.
“There isn’t a lot to do, especially for kids, but this creates an opportunity,” he said.