County Fair Soars Despite Economy

Annual Fourth of July weekend fair enjoys its second best year ever, and looks ahead to 2011's Golden Gate Bridge theme.

Despite a severe nationwide recession and state fiscal crisis, the Marin County Fair had its second best year ever in 2010.

The five-day summer kick off and Fourth-of-July celebration at the county civic center in San Rafael attracted close to record attendance, $1,197,297 in admission revenues and $104,262 in parking fees

"I am thrilled by these numbers given the poor economy and the fiscal state of California," said Jim Farley, fair director. "We anticipated the economy could have an impact so I'm elated.

Farley said the fair's "going global" theme was a big draw and brought audiences from different cultures and backgrounds.

"I think going global resonated with people," Farley said, noting the global stage and kitchen activities. "I think it's a topic people in Marin care about."

Fair revenues were less than only 2008 when admissions brought in $1,218,880 and $107,196 in parking fees. 

Food and beverage sales totaled $999,875 but were less than the $1 million-plus 2008 fair. 

And while he was pleased to look back, Farley is moving on to the theme of the Marin County Fair 2011, a preview of the 2012 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. County staff have been meeting with bridge management to come up with exhibits to commemorate the occasion.

"It's a world icon," Farley said. "We're going to get the ball rolling."


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