Fans hungry for their fix of livestock, cotton candy, beer and sideshow performers will have to travel out of both the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys this year, as the Valley Fair has announced it will take a hiatus in 2009.
The fair has been somewhat nomadic in the last several years, moving from the middle of the San Fernando Valley to Hansen Dam, up to Castaic and settling for the last two years at the Saugus Speedway, in the center of Santa Clarita.
The State of California 51st District Agricultural Association, which oversees the fair, has announced that organizers will use the year off to secure a permanent location that is both affordable and within the confines of the San Fernando Valley, a sentiment expressed by many fair fans. Last year’s attendance was 35,000.
“We’re being very prudent,” said fair official Catherine M. Garcia. “We have outgrown the Saugus Speedway location, where the time constraints for breaking down the fair present insurmountable problems regarding the safety and well-being of workers.”
The 51st DAA Board of Directors voted unanimously to take a year off at this crucial juncture to regroup, recreate, and relocate the fair to its traditional home in the San Fernando Valley. While a site has yet to be chosen, the board’s president, David S. Honda is spearheading the effort to find a location that is convenient to local families and conducive to producing the best fair possible.
“The board made the right choice here,” Honda said. “We have a wonderful opportunity to focus all of our energy this year on the goal of having a permanent home next year and for decades to come. “Given that both the state and the private sectors are experiencing economic difficulties, we will sacrifice this year for the sake of returning to the San Fernando Valley in 2010 at a new location, for which we will hold a long-term lease, and with which we will secure the fair’s future growth both culturally and financially,” Honda said.
Honda and Garcia expressed their commitment to finding a long-term home for the fair by 2010. “That is a goal we are passionate about.” Honda said.