Darlene Wendels / The Collegian
For Central Valley residents and visitors, the month of October brings to mind a yearly tradition that started 131 years ago: The Big Fresno Fair.
It’s that time again: to enjoy the rides, taste new food items, check out what the exhibits have to offer and see the new additions added.
The 2014 Big Fresno Fair starts today and runs through Oct. 13.
Here’s a look at some of this year’s additions:
• Live Shark Encounter: The only traveling shark encounter show in the U.S. will provide fairgoers an opportunity to learn about the several species of sharks that will be held in a 5,000 gallon tank.
• Neon 1X Splatter Tour Paint Party: A first for any fair, is an event for all ages to dance and enjoy a light show, stage performers and of course the main attraction: getting splattered with paint. Held at the Brian I. Tatarian Grandstand, the 17 and under show will be Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. and the 18 and older show at 9 p.m.
• Wizard’s Challenge: A STEM-based exhibit is added to Kids Town, featuring a variety of interactive displays for kids to learn science through a fun, medieval theme. A 20-foot long rotating dragon’s lair, wands that make 25-foot bubble tubes, plasma spheres and more make up the exhibit.
• Big Fresno Fair Museum: Tours are now available to anyone interested in the history of the fair but must sign up in advance. Tours will be offered at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.
A main staple at the fair: FOOD. From traditional, cultural foods to wacky concoctions, there is always something to look forward to tasting for the first time. Here are some food items to keep an eye on:
• Mini Crab Cakes at Sharkys Fish Fry
• Chicken Waffle Taco at Pepe’s Mariscos
• Spicy mango-flavored shaved ice and Mexican chip-blend Tostilocos at J.L.Q. Concessions
• Gooey Monster Funnel Cakes, Pan Puffs, Maple Syrup Funnel Cake and Deep Fried Candy Kabobs at Funnel Cake Express Inc.
• Deep Fried Candy Bars and Kool-Aid at MBM Concessions at Fat Fanny’s
• Deep Fried Pork Rinds with lime and chile at Good Ol’ Burgers
• A variety of pies from new vendor Williamette Valley Pie Company
A fair tradition many flock to is the Table Mountain Concert Series, with a line up featuring some new and familiar faces to the Central Valley.
Performances are held nightly at the Paul Paul Theater and for ticket information visit www.fresnofair.com.
• Jim Gaffigan, 7 p.m. Wednesday
• TobyMac, 7 p.m. Thursday
• Dierks Bentley, 7 p.m. Friday
• Kalin & Myles with Jake Miller, 1 p.m. Saturday
• Gabriel Iglesias, 7 p.m. Saturday
• La Buena Corrido Fest featuring Luis Coronel, Regulo Caro, Jorge Valenzuela, and Proyecto X, 7 p.m. Sunday
• Beach Boys, 7 p.m. Monday Oct. 6
• Sublime with Rome, 7 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 7
• Snoop Dogg, 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 8
• Justin Moore, 7 p.m. Thursday Oct. 9
• KONGOS, 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 10
• R5, 1 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11
• REO Speedwagon, 7 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11
• Latino Mix Fest featuring LA LEY with special guest Belanova, 7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 12
• Tony Bennett, 7 p.m. Monday Oct. 13