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Fair Industry Bestows Many Awards to San Diego County Fair

Released: January 23, 2017

DEL MAR, CA The 2016 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons, earned 26 top awards from the Western Fairs Association (WFA) for demonstrating excellence and sharing creative ideas within the Fair industry. Eleven first-place awards were garnered, including one for the featured category “Agricultural Education.” The announcement was made at the WFA annual convention and trade show held January 15-18, in Reno, NV. The San Diego County Fair competes in the Mega Fair class based on attendance, which is highly competitive. Fairs in this class represent the western United States, including Washington, Oregon and Arizona and have an attendance of more than 500,000.

In addition, the 2016 San Diego County Fair was a finalist for the Merrill Award, the industry’s top prize, named in honor of WFA Founder, Louis Merrill, which is given for those entries that clearly demonstrate innovation, vision and excellence.

“The San Diego County Fair is honored to be recognized by our industry peers,” said Tim Fennell, CEO/General Manager of the San Diego County Fair and 22nd District Agricultural Association. “We especially want to thank the 1,609,481 visitors who attended the Fair last year; without their support, none of this would be possible. We are looking forward to bringing even more exciting programming, education and great memories in 2017.”

The WFA was founded in 1922 and incorporated in 1945 as a nonprofit trade association serving the Fair industry throughout the western United States and Canada. The association's primary purpose is to assist in maintaining the highest professional standards within the industry through a voluntary network of individuals and organizations. The primary objective of the association is to promote the prosperity of Fairs through educational activities, training programs and legislative advocacy.

First place awards for the 2016 San Diego County Fair include:
“Agricultural Programming,” for the CA Grown exhibit, highlighting the journey of California agriculture from the past, to the present and into the future;
“Magazine Ad”, for an advertorial in San Diego Magazine;
“Give it your Best Shot,” for a photo of the bungee jump attraction;
“Fairtime Advertising Poster,” for the San Diego transit shelter campaign;
“Interim Event Rental Innovative Marketing Concept,” for a print ad in the San Diego Business Journal;
“New Children's Program”, for the Summer Steam Maker Festival;
“New Innovative Use of Technology,” for the “Magic Mirror” interactive display in the theme exhibit; “Theme Program,” for overall use of the theme throughout the Fair;
“Volunteers,” for the partnership with the San Diego Steampunk Society;
“Crisis Management,” for facing the challenge of losing the south lot for Fair parking; and
“Guest Services,” for creating selfie photo spots around the Fair;

Second place winnings included the following innovative ideas:
“Tea Time in Wonderland, ” a new featured program;
“Inspiring Collaborations” for the outreach effort of “Out at the Fair,” an event for San Diego’s LGBTQ community;
Two awards for “Digital Advertising” featuring general Fair promotion and the San Diego International Beer Festival; and
“New Conservation Program/Being Green” acknowledged the Whole Life Festival’s expanding green program.

The 2016 San Diego County Fair and the 22nd District Agricultural Association (DAA) also received 18 awards, including seven in first place from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) in December. These honors were earned for outstanding Agricultural, Competitive, Communications, and Sponsorship Programs for the Fair.

About the San Diego County Fair
Ride ‘em cowboys! “Where the West is Fun” is the theme for the 2017 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons, celebrating the rough and tumble Wild, Wild West with all of the excitement this period in history has to offer. The 2017 Fair will feature a Wild West saloon, numerous Western-themed educational and historic exhibits and country music for everyone to enjoy. There is a new Sheriff in town and it is you! Pull on your boots, grab your cowboy hat, and ride on in to Del Mar for some fun this summer. The Fair opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and runs through Tuesday, July 4; it is closed the first four Mondays and the first three Tuesdays. The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 Fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.6 million visitors annually. For more information visit sdfair.com

For more information, please contact:
Shawn Feisst
858-755-1161 ext.2573
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