Officials: Pima County Fair pumps $34 million into Tucson econom - Tucson News Now

Officials: Pima County Fair pumps $34 million into Tucson economy

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

It’s the final weekend of the Pima County Fair and we’re taking a closer look into the economic impact of the annual 11-day event.

The Southwestern Fair Commission says the event impacts our local economy by $34 million. They hired FMR Associates Inc. to produce an Economic Impact study.

Under a management agreement by SWFC and Pima County all profits earned from operations are put back into the facility for improvements. The recent upgrades include new bathrooms and drinking fountains on the fairgrounds, RV Park Improvements and upgrades to a large multi-purpose building.

Children shriek in delight as they go around on the rides. Burgers sizzle on the grill.

“What’s your favorite part of the fair?” Tucson News Now asked fair goers.

“Definitely the food,” Amrica Dupont said.

A pair of men on unicycles, juggled swords to entertain a near-by crowd on Friday night. There are all examples of the familiar sights and sounds of the Pima County Fair. Many vendors said their sales have been up this year compared to past years.

“We’ve been doing really well. Everybody likes the monster dog – half pound corndog and that goes really well and our curly fries are a big seller.” Lucia Perez, Owner of “The Monster Dog” said.

But Friday’s strong wind posed a serious problem for clothing vendors like Jacob Sow, who had to keep re-organizing his T-shirt shop.

“There’s nothing I can do. I’ve been chasing them,” Sow said. 

The gusty wind had some parents worry – and keep their kids off of the rides completely.

“I don’t want them to go on the big rides, like high up. I don’t want them, you know safety,” parent Sophia Fergus said.

Fair organizers said over the past 15 years attendance has nearly tripled at the fair. They’re hoping there will be a big turnout for this final weekend.

“In 2016 we reached just over 315,000 people and our fingers are crossed that we’re going to hit 320,000 this year,” Launa Rabago, Pima County Fair Marketing Manager said.

Rabago said she believes attendance has grown because of the big names they draw for the concerts - and also this is the first year they're holding concerts every single night.

The fair wraps up on Sunday night, April 30, with a concert by country music singer, Kip Moore. Admission is $8 for adults. For children age 6-10, it’s $4 and kids under five are free.

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