San Diego County Fair now fifth-largest in the nation

The San Diego County Fair is officially one of the five biggest fairs in the entire country.

Venues Today has announced that the San Diego County Fair is ranked No. 5 on its list of the largest fairs in the nation, up from No. 6 last year, based on attendance.

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, State Fair of Texas, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and the Minnesota State Fair were first through fourth, in that order.

Venues Today also honored the Del Mar Fairgrounds concessions partner, Premier Food Services (a division of SMG) with a Hall of Headlines Concessions Honor for their creativity and grassroots efforts during the 2016 San Diego County Fair, presented by Albertsons|Vons.

Leveraging the “Mad About the Fair” theme, Premier created a “Tea Time in Wonderland” within the popular Flower and Garden Show. Held only on Sundays, this event doubled in attendance and sold out after the first weekend, according to a press release from the fairgrounds. Tea Time included “Tipsy Tea” with unlimited mimosas, and cups of Earl Grey, finger sandwiches and scones. A hat-making event welcomed children of all ages. The “Garden to Bar” idea featured themed cocktails such as “The Wrong Alice” and “Smile in the Sky” in a setting with planters filled with herbs and spices and whimsical decor such as a copper sink fountain, comfy couches and chairs, and recycled cypress fencing.

This effort helped Premier reach a 2016 food and beverage sales of $26 million. In addition to the Team Time in Wonderland event, the company set up pop-up tea and Tipsy Tea parties throughout the fairgrounds. Premier Foods also provides concessions for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and hundreds of other events held at the fairgrounds.

Tim Fennell, the CEO and GM of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, said Premier VP and GM Mark Anderson “has helped take our annual concession revenue and expand it at least six times since he’s been here. consider Mark to be a key member of our management team, even though he works for our concessionaire. Our all-time record attendance of 1.6 million at last year’s fFair includes the fact that we have a great partnership with our food and beverage provider.”

“It is my amazing staff that makes this job fun and creative,” Anderson said. “Most of my managers have been with me on the Fairgrounds for at least 15 years.” Anderson himself has been with Premier at the Fairgrounds for 28 years.

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