Pomona, Calif - October 2, 2012- The 2012 L.A. County Fair wrapped its 24-day run with a total of 1,473,371 guests. Celebrating 90 years of education and entertainment, the Fair brought new attractions like Genius: A Celebration of American Innovation and Stingray Island, as well as returning favorites such as Fairview Farms and thoroughbred horseracing.
“The energy level at the L.A. County Fair was electric this year with guests coming out in droves in the evenings, turning the Fair into a nighttime destination,” said president and CEO, Jim Henwood. “Enjoyable evening temperatures brought out young families, couples on date night and groups of friends. While thousands of guests enjoyed our Grandstand concerts, others poured into the carnival and exhibitions, and indulged in delicious Fair food.”
Indeed, the End of Summer Concert Series was a huge hit with acts such as Carly Rae Jepsen, Styx, Boyz II Men, En Vogue and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, The B-52s, George Benson & Chaka Khan, as well as Earth, Wind & Fire who closed out the lineup. This year’s Fair also saw the introduction of the first annual Battle of the Bands, which crowned Cogito the winner, awarding them with a slot in the 2013 Vans Warped Tour at Fairplex.
Food and shopping continue to be the top two reasons people come to the Fair. Shopping vendors filled more than 1,000 spaces with the most popular items being the Miracle Whisk, remote control helicopters and My Pillow. Food vendors brought back favorites and introduced new items such as the Big Rib and the deep-fried cookie dough. Top food vendors included Juicy’s, Big Bubba’s Bad to the Bone BBQ and Chicken Charlie.
Another hit this year was the thoroughbred horseracing in Fairplex Park. Running Sept. 7-23, 13 days of racing resulted in a 7.95% increase overall in wagering compared to the 2011 meet.
The Fair makes the guest experience the highest priority and in 2012 customer satisfaction was at an all-time high. Customer surveys conducted throughout the run of the Fair showed high scores in the entertainment, cleanliness, customer service, safety and value categories.
Additionally, the Fair continued its tradition of giving back to the community:
• Guests donated more than 110,000 cans of non-perishable food to Helping Hands, Caring Hearts Ministry, Foothill Family Shelter, Caring for the Hills, Inland Valley Hope Partners and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in exchange for free admission
• In honor of 9/11, the Fair donated more than $9,300 in proceeds from the Weekend for Heroes promotion to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation
• City of Hope, Cedars-Sinai, American Red Cross, Huntington Hospital and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital held blood drives resulting in 734 pints of blood donated
• Guests donated more than 16,000 books, 13,000 school supplies, 300 shoes and 2,400 socks to local charities in exchange for free admission
• More than 140,000 students and teachers experienced the Fair educational exhibits through the FairKids Field Trip program at no charge
• The Fair honored 17 communities and 31 community heroes on their dedicated days
• Local universities also benefitted from special promotions and dedicated days with more than 10,000 discount redemptions
“We feel very special knowing our guests have helped us make the 2012 L.A. County Fair a huge success while also giving back to the local communities,” said Henwood. “The team is looking forward to 2013 and beyond, currently developing plans for festivities celebrating our 100-year anniversary in 2022.”
The L.A. County Fair will be returning August 30- September 29, 2013. For additional details and to keep track of updates for next year, please visit www.lacountyfair.com.
Under the direction of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, Fairplex is home to the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in the world, as well as The Learning Centers which encompasses Fairtime Learning, The Child Development Center and The Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC). Fairplex also operates a diverse hospitality business with the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Conference Center, McKinley’s Grille, KOA RV Park, Finish Line Sports Grill and Cornucopia Foods. The campus is also home to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; horse-racing and Barretts Equine Limited; as well as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. For more information, please visit www.fairplex.com.