Big Fresno Fairgrounds

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Logo of The Big Fresno Fair.

The Big Fresno Fairgrounds is the site of the annual Big Fresno Fair and a convention center complex capable of hosting conventions, trade shows and banquets located in Fresno, California.


The complex includes eight major buildings, Table Mountain Rancheria Park and a horse racing track.[1]

  • Livestock Pavilion: 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2)
  • Commerce Building: 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2), capacity 3,871
  • Industry Commerce Building: 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2), capacity 3,571
  • Junior Exhibit Building: 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2), capacity 2,800
  • The Green House: 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2)
  • Industrial Education Building: 11,000 sq ft (1,000 m2), capacity 1,571
  • Paul Paul Theatre: 1 acre (0.40 ha) amphitheater, capacity 5,000
  • Gem & Minerals Building: 4,760 sq ft (442 m2), capacity 680

Fresno Assembly Center[edit]

The fairground was the site of one of several temporary detention camps located throughout the West that represented the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps.[2] These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent internment camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention. 5,344 Japanese Americans from Fresno and the surrounding area passed through the Fresno Assembly Center before being transferred to the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas and Gila River, Arizona.[3] California Historical Landmark #934 is a memorial dedicated to the over 5,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry who were confined at the fairgrounds from May to October 1942. It can be found in front of Commerce Building next to the Chance Avenue entrance.


  1. ^ "Info & Building Descriptions". The Big Fresno Fair. 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Wozniacka, Gosia (October 2, 2011), "Memorial site to mark Japanese American detention", Seattle Post-Intelligencer 
  3. ^ Fresno" Densho Encyclopeda (accessed 17 Jun 2014)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°43′53″N 119°44′59″W / 36.73139°N 119.74980°W / 36.73139; -119.74980