Start of Fair Season Kicks Off with June Celebration of “California Fairgrounds Appreciation Month”

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Western Fairs Association Voices support for legislative efforts to invest in fairgrounds infrastructure projects.

Fairground Appreciation Month
We are declaring June as Fairgrounds Appreciation Month to help raise awareness about how indispensable our network is to every corner of the state.

With Memorial Day having just kicked off the official start of fair season, the Western Fairs Association today announced it has proclaimed June as “California Fairgrounds Appreciation Month” as a way to raise awareness about the value of fairs and the need for the state legislature to restore funding to repair deteriorating infrastructure.

More than 30 million people will visit a California fairground sometime during 2014, fair officials said – and not just at fair time. Fairgrounds drive local economies and provide a venue for a wide range of activities and essential services, especially during natural disasters when they serve as evacuation centers for residents and staging areas for emergency workers.

“For nearly a century, our fairgrounds have quietly served as vital community hubs 365 days a year,” said Pat Kress, president of Western Fairs Association (WFA). “We are declaring June as Fairgrounds Appreciation Month to help raise awareness about how indispensable our network is to every corner of the state.”

In the past several years, crucial state funding to support fairgrounds was slashed and eliminated to help address the state budget shortfalls, she said.

“We have done our part to get California back on its feet,” Kress said. “But this has crippled some of our fairgrounds, which are in dire need of funding to repair essential infrastructure that is crumbling.”

Kress praised a large block of state legislators who have unified around this issue. Last month, in a letter to their peers, 32 legislators from throughout California called upon their peers to support efforts to restore funding in this year’s budget.

“Fairs touch every community in every legislative district in the state,” said Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), who chairs the Assembly Agriculture Committee and the Joint Committee on Fairs, Allocation, and Classification. “Finding a way to sustain these valuable community assets is a huge priority for many of my colleagues this session and into the future.”

Californians interested in finding out about the fairgrounds in their communities can learn more at the WFA Western Fairs website.

About the Western Fairs Association – Founded in 1922 Western Fairs Association (WFA) is a nonprofit trade association serving the fair industry throughout the western United States and Canada. WFA builds better fairs by supporting professional leadership, and providing education, communication and advocacy. Currently Western Fairs serves more than 800 members, representing fairs, fair-related businesses, fair management and fair board directors.

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