Big Fresno Fair launches layoffs after 2020 cancellation

Though its Drive-Thru Eats was deemed a success in place of the typical fair setting, the effects of the COVID-19 have forced The Big Fresno Fair to initiate more than two dozen layoffs. 

The fair announced that 26 full-time employees were given layoff notices that will be effective on Dec. 16 in order to reduce expenses. 


“Since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of Fresno Fairgrounds business and operations, there has been minimal revenue to sustain ongoing operations,” said fair deputy managers Stacy Rianda and Lauri King in a statement. 

“Therefore, the Fair adjusted to financially survive a long-term pandemic with an uncertain end by reducing expenses including staffing.” 

Come Dec. 17, the fair will move forward with eight full-time employees from positions in management, accounting, administration and maintenance.

The Big Fresno Fair, formally known as the 21st Agricultural District Association, is a state agency.

Because the state’s COVID-19 regulations have severely limited any potential for large public events at the fairgrounds, Fair management says it will continue to raise funds through its nonprofit entity, Friends of the Big Fresno Fair, and hold adapted events that fall under the state’s guidance. 

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