Dates: Today-Oct. 14
Hours: Gates open at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. on Saturday-Sunday. Gates close at 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, midnight Friday-Saturday.
Admission: $10 general; $7 for ages 6-12 and 62-up; $7 for military with ID; free for kids 5 and under
Parking: $5 general, $8 preferred and $12 in the Chance Premier lot
Details: fresnofair.com or (559) 650-3247
The only live horse racing event in the central San Joaquin Valley is here once a year and event planners expect to pack the house for events ranging from horse jumping to the hoof-pounding races.
When: Live racing starts Thursday; no racing Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday next week (Oct. 7-9)
First post time: 1:15 p.m. weekdays, 12:15 p.m. weekends (post times subject to change)
Admission: It's free to watch the parade of horses and the races from the rails. Entry to the grandstand is $4; $5 for a box seat and $5 for clubhouse admission
Tips: Check out The Bee on race days for tips from handicapper Robbie Rodriguez along with race entries and the morning-line odds.
Fair-goers can expect everything from rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J to teen idol Austin Mahone at the Big Fresno Fair 2013 Table Mountain Concert Series. But event planners say it's stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias and Bakersfield metal group Korn that have sold the most tickets. Neither show is sold out — yet — but each has attracted more than 3,000 ticket-buyers so far.
Ticket prices vary from free for the Mariachi Festival on Oct. 13 to a high of $35 for several of the big-name acts
The lineup in the Paul Paul Theater (all concerts 7 p.m. unless noted):
Tonight: Boyz II Men
Thursday: Boz Scaggs
Saturday: Austin Mahone, 1 p.m.; Sean Kingston and B. Smyth, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Ramon Ayala
Monday: Neil Sedaka
Oct. 9: Gabriel Iglesias
Oct. 10: Soul Jam
Oct. 11: Korn
Oct. 12: Zendaya, noon; LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13: Mariachi Festival with special guest Antonio Aguilar Jr., 2-6 p.m.
Oct. 14: Darius Rucker
Aside from staples like cinnamon rolls and jumbo corn dogs, attendees can expect a diverse set of new offerings. Pulled pork waffle sandwiches, fried frog legs and lobster corn dogs are among the newest treats. Those looking for sweets can try the new fried bananas and Nutella crepes.
Check out today's Life section for more information on this year's fair food.
On the cheap
Have your fun for free at one of the fair's five free stages. Acts include the classic rock cover band 51 ACES and violinist Patrick Contreras, a Fresno native. And, of course, there's always the standing-room-only section on the horse racing track's ground level.
$1 Wednesdays: Back again this year, patrons pay only $1 for all carnival rides. On opening day, fair-goers pay a $1 admittance fee.
Fans and followers day: On Thursday, anyone who is a fan of the Big Fresno Fair on Facebook or follows the fair on Twitter gets free admission between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Seniors and special interests day: On Monday, attendees ages 62 and older and anyone with a disability get into the fair for free. Doors open at 9 a.m. on this day only.
$2 Tuesday: Pick up a fair ticket voucher at any participating Central Valley Les Schwab Tires to get into the fair on Tuesday for only $2.
Community food drive day: Bring in five or more canned food items (per person) between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 10 for free admission to the fair. All donations go to the Salvation Army and Community Food Bank.
Kids Day: Children 12 and younger get in free on Oct. 14 with paid adult admission. Youngsters who are 5 years old and younger get free admission to the fair on any day.