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2017 San Diego County Fair claims 27 awards from the Western Fairs Association

Released: January 09, 2018

DEL MAR, Calif. (Jan. 9, 2018) – The 2017 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons, claimed 27 top honors at the Western Fair Association’s “Go West” annual convention and trade show Jan. 3-6 in Anaheim, Calif.

The Fair also claimed the prestigious Merrill Award this year. The Merrill Award is the industry’s top prize, named in honor of WFA founder Louis Merrill and was awarded to the Fair for its New Citizen Inclusion Program. The San Diego County Fair and New Mexico State Fair were both recognized.

What’s more, the Barham Award, presented in remembrance of Hot Dog on a Stick founder Dave Barham, was given to WZ Productions LLC, who co-created the event Out at the Fair (OATF) in partnership with the San Diego County Fair. OATF is a family-friendly festival celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community (LGBTQ+). OATF is one of the San Diego County Fair’s fastest-growing events and the first of its kind in the fair industry.

“We are honored to receive this level of recognition from the Western Fairs Association,” said Tim Fennell, CEO of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. “We strive to make each fair even better than the last - bringing in top entertainment and providing innovative special events and agricultural and educational opportunities that will wow everyone who walks through the front gates.”

The San Diego County Fair competes in the highly-competitive “Mega Fair” class based on attendance. Fairs in this class represent the western United States, including Washington, Oregon and Arizona, and have a attendance of more than 500,000.

The Western Fairs Association, founded in 1922 and incorporated in 1945, is a nonprofit trade association serving the fair industry throughout the western United States and Canada.

First place awards:
• New Community Outreach Program - for the New Citizen Inclusion Program
• Theme Program - for the San Diego County Fair’s “Where the West is Fun” theme
• Outdoor Advertising - for “Wanted” posters at bus stops
• Fairtime Poster - for the overall San Diego County Fair poster
• New Children’s Program - for “Frontier Town”
• New Wellness Program - for the “Awareness Gallery”
• Interim Events - for San Diego Magazine’s Best of North County event
• Non-Profits - for the Care ‘n’ Share program
• Crisis Management - for the Fair’s theme tagline change
• Inspiring Collaborations - For the cattle drive in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District
• Give it Your Best Shot - for a photo of a young girl showing a steer

Second place awards:
• Television Advertising (Single TV Ad) - for Albertsons|Vons $5 Fair Days
• Interim Event Rentals Innovative Marketing Strategy or Concept - for a magazine spread in the San Diego Tourism Annual Meeting and Convention Guide
• Fair Program/Schedule - for the “Where the West is Fun” theme
• New Exhibits Competition - for the 24-Hour Film Festival
• New Sponsorship - for Mike Hess sponsorship
• New Innovative Use of Technology - for geo-fencing
• Agriculture Programming - for the Junior Livestock Auction
• Digital Marketing Campaign - for the 2017 San Diego County Fair
• Give it Your Best Shot - for an animal photo
• Give it Your Best Shot - for a community photo

Third place awards:
• Television Advertising Series - for the Toyota Summer Concert Series and Paddock concerts
• Radio Advertising Series - for Mattress Firm Foster Kids’ Day and Albertsons|Vons $5 Fair Days
• Printed Marketing Campaign - for San Diego Magazine
• Fair Logo Contest - for the “Where the West is Fun” logo

The 2017 San Diego County Fair also received 25 awards from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) in November 2017. The IAFE represents more than 1,100 fairs throughout the world and promotes the development and improvement of agricultural fairs, shows and expositions.

About the Del Mar Fairgrounds

The 22nd District Agricultural Association is a State of California agency that owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Surfside Race Place, Horsepark Equestrian Center and the Del Mar Golf Center. The 22nd DAA produces three events each year: the San Diego County Fair, the Del Mar National Horse Show and The Scream Zone. The Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events annually, the largest of which is the live horse racing meet each summer and fall, which is operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for the 22nd DAA and the State of California. For more information about the 2018 San Diego County Fair, visit sdfair.com. For general Del Mar Fairgrounds information, visit delmarfairgrounds.com.

For more information, please contact:
Annie Pierce
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