TURLOCK — Everyone's cutting back these days, but folks still want to have fun.
According to a story in Sunday's USA Today, people looking to have a good time on a budget are turning to county fairs.
"The economy worked in our favor, because so many people were staying home and looking for a lot of bang for their buck," Linda Zweig, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Fair, told the newspaper. Attendance for San Diego's 22-day run was 1,274,442, beating the record of 1,265,997 in 2007.
The Stanislaus County Fair began its 10-day run Friday.
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And although visiting the fair still can be a pricey proposition, there are several ways to cut costs without cutting the fun.
Of course, if you planned ahead, you bought discount admission tickets and ride wristbands in advance from the fair's Web site, www.stancofair.com. But even if you didn't, there are bargains to be had.
Consider what two families visiting the fair could spend this year.
Expensive trip to the fair for a family of four:
- Pay $4 to park at the fairgrounds
Budget trip to the fair:
- Park at Pitman High School or California State University, Stanislaus, and take the free shuttle — $0
Of course, this is just a suggestion. Persuade the kids to skip the rides and you can cut the cost by more than half.
Lots of folks maintain that the best part of the fair is the people watching. And the animal watching. And that's available for the best price of all — free.
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at 578-2343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.