State Fair Kicks Off With Loads of Discounts


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(8/21/2009)
Friday, August 21, 2009
By: Steffi Broski and Steve Milne

New this year is the unlimited-ride wristband for $28. Then, there are plenty of food and shopping coupons…and free rides and admission on certain days. Erica Manuel is with the State Fair. She says more deals are offered this year because of their new, family-oriented carnival operator.
 
“But more than that, I think it’s just the economy. We are sensitive to the fact that things are very, very difficult for a lot of people. Including us.”
 
Manuel says they’re concerned that furlough Fridays and layoffs will make people more reluctant to spend money. Sacramento State Economist George Jouganotos says that’s why the discounts are a good idea. Especially because they might get out-of-towners to visit.
 
“If there wasn’t any state fair or if they decided to not go the state fair because there aren’t any discounts, then those visitors from Vacaville, Fairfield, San Jose etc. would spend money in their town.”
 
And Jouganotos says the millions of dollars in revenue are a big deal for the city of Sacramento. Meanwhile, Erica Manuel with the State Fair says another draw this year is that some of the carnival rides come from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. And the first 5,000 visitors each Friday will be able to ride them…for free.