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An Orange County Fair Primer

July 07, 1989|Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich and Dallas Jackson / Los Angeles Times: Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Dates: Wednesday, through Sunday, July 23 Hours: Noon to midnight, Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday-Sunday Location: Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa Admission: $4 general; $2 for ages 6-12 and 65 and older; 5 and younger free Parking: $2 Theme: "Stop and Smell the Flowers" The theme is a salute to the small animals, plants and flowers. Many of the exhibits and special events salute the rabbit in particular. These leporine activities include: "Bring a Live Rabbit, Be Admitted Free" day (Monday, July 17); "Bunny Toss"(noon daily on the Carnation Kids Stage); "Best Dressed Rabbit Fashion Show" (4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, also on the Kids Stage); "Chubby Bunny Contest" (10:30 a.m. Friday, July 21 on the Kids Stage); "Bud and Blossom" (two Flemish giant rabbits, the largest breed in the world, will be on view in the livestock area every day of the fair) PRIME NUMBERS * 1989 operating budget: $13.4 * Fairground size: 160 acres * Number of parking lots: 4 * Number of paved parking spaces: 6,112 * Number of dirt parking spaces: 3,220 * Number of gates: 10 * Number of exhibit buildings: 9 * Number of livestock barns: 4 * Grandstand Arena seats: 8,500 * Arlington Theater seats: 5,000 * Record parking and admission revenue: $1.6 million (1988) * Record carnival gross receipts: $1,120,156 (1988) * Amount received from state Division of Fairs and Expositions: $85,000 (maximum allowable) * Number of full-time employees: 54 * Number of part-time employees (during fair): 500 * Salaries paid in 1988: $2.6 million * Most unusual admission: Monday, July 17 ("Bring a Live Rabbit, Be Admitted Free") * Most unusual event on Monday, July 17: Bunny Toss, noon at the Carnation Kids Stage * Cash awards to be presented in fair contests: $90,000 * Amount awarded in 1988: $68,830 * Number of participants in exhibitor competition 1988: 14,354 * Number of entries: 22,547 * Number of entries in wine competition: 2,197 * Number of competitive contests and classes: 2,120 * Food concessionaires present: 60 * Commercial exhibitors: 300 * Box stalls in Equestrian Center: 276 * Pipe stalls: 40 1988 ATTENDANCE COMPARISON (rounded to nearest thousand) Orange County Fair: 489,000 Sawdust Festival: 240,000 Strawberry Festival: 200,000 Festival of the Whales: 150,000 Orange County Fiesta: 40,000 TOP TEN ATTENDANCE DAYS AT THE FAIR

Day and Date Attendance Saturday, July 18, 1987 73,801 Saturday, July 16, 1988 72,146 Saturday, July 19, 1986 67,499 Saturday, July 9, 1988 61,965 Saturday, July 20, 1985 60,661 Saturday, July 10, 1987 58,231 Saturday, July 16, 1983 57,660 Saturday, July 19, 1987 57,044 Saturday, July 10, 1988 56,079 Saturday, July 18, 1981 55,790

FAIR ATTENDENCE FIGURES, PAST 10 YEARS The Orange County Fair ranks sixth in the state and 61st in the country in attendance. Last year records were set for both paid and total attendance.

Year Total Attendance Paid Attendance 1979 306,023 209,972 1980 340,836 242,879 1981 368,903 264,242 1982 339,753 241,592 1983 336,753 210,490 1984 318,963 264,939 1985 362,907 288,431 1986 439,177 331,445 1987 472,250 375,342 1988 488,688 375,635

Source: Orange County Fair RECORD ATTENDANCE DAYS AT THE FAIR All the Orange County Fair attendance records for individual days were set in either 1987 or 1988 with, typically, the biggest crowds showing on weekends.

Day Attendance Date First Thursday 16,898 July 9, 1987 First Friday 40,042 July 8, 1988 First Saturday 61,965 July 9, 1988 First Sunday 56,079 July 10, 1988 First Monday 27,618 July 11, 1988 First Tuesday 33,464 July 14, 1987 First Wednesday 34,553 July 13, 1988 Second Thursday 42,341 July 16, 1987 Second Friday 53,564 July 15, 1988 Second Saturday 73,801 July 18, 1987 Second Sunday 57,044 July 19, 1987

Source: Orange County Fair

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