Big Fresno 2022 Food, Discounts & Entertainment Guide
The Fresno Great Fair is singular in its longevity.
The annual event opened its 139th year on Wednesday, for a 12-day race that includes traditional cattle, art and other competitive displays (the FFA stuff we know and love), plus horse racing in live, daily music and performances. and all the overdone food we associate with a good county fair.
Here’s a quick guide on how best to enjoy the Fresno Big Fair in 2022.
Discounts and savings days
Admission to the fair remains relatively cheap, as these things go.
Adult tickets are $12, with $8 tickets for those over 62, children 6-12, and those with valid military ID. Children under 5 enter for free. Parking is $10-$15 depending on the lot and cash only (so keep that in mind when going out).
Of course, you can find discounts.
For example, those planning to attend the fair multiple times during the race can get a discounted season pass at O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. Passes are $40 in store and can be redeemed at the fair box office prior to entry. Photo ID is required.
Discounted daily tickets are available at Save Mart and FoodMaxx stores for the duration of the fair. Tickets are $2 off. You can also get up to $7 off an Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband.
The Central California Blood Center is offering Buy One, Get One coupons to all blood donors through October 15. Vouchers can be redeemed online or at the ticket office.
Discounts are available at the door on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Monday is Seniors and Special Interests Day. People over 62 or people with disabilities can enter for free until 1 p.m. (after that it’s half price.) Doors open at 10 a.m. A companion is authorized for people requiring assistance.
- Tuesday’s discount is available through social media. Two-dollar tickets will be available from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for anyone following the fair on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. A special barcode will be posted on Monday and is required for entry.
- Wednesday is Children’s Day, thanks to Sun-Maid. Admission is free for children under 12 with an adult ticket.
Food, food and more food
This is the unavoidable question for anyone who goes to the fair: what is the first thing you will eat?
Old favorites are still available: the cinnamon roll from Think County Fair; Ryan’s Dole Whip Dole Whip and Dole Floats; a smoked turkey leg from Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ or whatever Chicken Charlie decided to fry this year (like Oreos, Twinkies and Frog Legs).
New to the show this year:
- Chicken Charlie’s offers a Buffalo Mac and Cheese Sandwich, Kool-Aid Fried Chicken Sandwich, and Jumbo Kool-Aid Baby Bottles.
- Country Fair has added a Caramel Apple variation to its cinnamon rolls.
- Aurora’s Authentica Comida Mexicana offers champurrado (a seasonal favorite) as well as tamales, quesabirria tacos, and esquite.
- Fabulous Fanny’s Funnel Cakes has a Twinkie Oreo Twist (it’s fried, obviously).
The fair brings back Food Truck Alley, which debuted last year with a rotating roster of popular food trucks. It is located at the southern end of the fairgrounds near Butler Gate. The daily truck schedule can be viewed on the fair’s website.
Pogo stunts, camel rides and tractor pull for kids
Obviously, the fair is full of daily entertainment options (without getting into horse racing and live music). He brought back the Pop! Culture Experience (a partnership with Blue Shell Gaming that includes comic book-style entertainment, esports and old-school arcade games) and Livin’s Local Market (a collection of local vendors selling clothing, jewelry and of art).
It also added several new attractions.
- The Xpogo Stunt team does extreme sports on pogo sticks. The team collectively holds 18 Guinness World Records for things like most consecutive jumps (at over 88,000).
- Camel rides, which is pretty self explanatory, if you’ve even seen a camel. You can also pose for pictures with the animals.
- African Tanzanite acrobats perform a series of choreographed routines like building human pyramids (for speed only), as well as limbo and contortion, bottle balancing, chair stacks, and hand balancing.
- The Pedal Pullers competition is for children ages 4-12. Think monster truck tractor pulls, but with pedal bikes and kids. Pullers start at 75 pounds. You can watch the entertainment in front of the new Home and Hobby building near Butler Avenue Gate.