Big Fresno Fair
There’s a lot to look forward to during the month of October in the San Joaquin Valley. The weather starts to cool down, Halloween is just around the corner and the Valley’s largest annual event brings more than 600,000 people together—The Big Fresno Fair.
To get to the Fair, all you have to do is take the Amtrak San Joaquins train to the Fresno station. Then head to the Fresno Fairgrounds, which are less than a ten minute drive from the train station. You can skip the traffic and relax during the train ride to Fresno, or even start planning what to do during your visit to The Big Fresno Fair—whether it’s what delicious food to try, carnival rides to ride, live music to see, horse racing to watch, new attractions to experience or which Fresno County competitive exhibits to check out. At The Big Fresno Fair, there’s something for everyone!.
If you’re planning on going to one of the Valley’s biggest longstanding annual traditions, here’s what you need to know:
- SAVINGS – There are plenty of ways to save BIG on your trip to The Big Fresno Fair. Plan on attending the Fair on a day there isn’t a discount? No problem, take advantage of the savings before the Fair. Here’s a list of opportunities to save: http://bit.ly/BFFSavings19
- UNIQUE EVENTS – Did you know you can sip on wine and craft beer from inside the horse racing track during live horse racing? Just attend the Fair’s Brew Fest [http://bit.ly/BFFBrewFest] (Oct 5) or Fall Wine Festival [LINK: http://bit.ly/BFFFallWineFestival] (Oct 12); tickets are only $35 and the best part is all the proceeds go to support the Fair’s Fresno County Historical Museum.
- FREE ATTRACTIONS – The Big Fresno Fair is affordable, plus once you get inside the Fair there is so much to do that’s FREE. [https://www.fresnofair.com/p/things-to-do/free-entertainment]a. Sierra to the Sea – Enjoy this new exhibit featuring the plant and wildlife found from the mountains to the sea. Touch stingrays, learn about conservation efforts, see a giant sand sculpture and more.
b. Competitive Exhibits – There are six exhibit buildings filled to the brim with the talented entries of Fresno County residents. Take in incredible artwork, amazing fresh produce, innovative welding projects, the magic of geodes and more.
c. Table Mountain Rancheria Park – this area features nine whimsical attractions, like a life-size pirate ship – It’s essentially a Disneyland for the Valley.
d. Live Horse Racing – While it’s only $4 to watch horse racing from a reserved seat on the 2nd floor, it’s free to enjoy this sport of kings from the ground floor. Head to the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand to watch these incredible athletes compete.
e. Five Free Stages – There are five stages with free entertainment throughout the grounds, from live music to cultural dance troupes to a hypnotist.
f. Ag Ventureland – This area for the littlest Fairgoers was completely redone in 2018 with an entirely new setup and new activities, all designed to teach about the fascinating world of agriculture and get our youngest Fairgoers interested and asking questions.
- FAIR FOOD – You can’t go to the Fair and not indulge in all the treats it has to offer. Like Fabe’s Churros & Gelato’s [https://www.instagram.com/fabesgelato/] over-the-top milkshakes or Chicken Charlie’s [https://www.instagram.com/chickencharlies/] latest deep-fried creation. Plus, for the first time, the Fair is holding a new food competition among all the food vendors to see who has the best, never before served at the BFF, “savory” and “sweet” Fair food items. It will take place on October 3rd. Details to come.
- IG-WORTHY SPOTS – Head to the Carnival to snap a birds’ eye view of The Big Fresno Fair atop the Ferris Wheel or in front of the Fair-favorite Flying Swinger at sunset. Head over to the Tractor Tree just south of the Paul Paul Theater; this one-of-a-kind tree sits at 32 feet tall with nearly 1,200 tractor parts and weighs a total of 32.8 tons; it was featured in the 2019 Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Also located around the Paul Paul Theater is a collection of more than a dozen iconic neon signs from throughout Fresno County—including the old Fresno Motel sign and the 1903 Fresno Beer Sign.
- Fresno County Historical Museum – Yes, there’s a museum dedicated to the rich history of Fresno County right in the middle of the Fairgrounds. This two-story, 14,000 sq. ft. building features public safety, military and sports history, a cultural center and the world’s largest sugar pine. Read more about the museum here: [https://www.fresnofair.com/p/education/museums/fresno-county-historical-museum]
This year marks the 136th year of The Big Fresno Fair, which will run October 2 – 14!. Plan your trip to Fresno, book your train tickets here and experience The Big Fresno Fair yourself!
Don’t forget to take advantage of our discounts to save on travel to the fair.
Traveling in a group? Use our Friends & Family Discount to save 50% on up to five companion fares when you purchase one ticket at full price. https://www.amtrak.com/san-joaquin-friends-and-family-companion-fares Pro tip: buy your tickets 6 at a time to make the most of this deal for the whole fam.
Bringing the kids? Save 50% on tickets for children ages 2-12! Kids under 2 ride for free! https://www.amtrak.com/california-everyday-discounts