By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Big Fresno Fair will host live horse racing meet

The Big Fresno Fair, for the first time, will have 14 days of live horse racing, double the number of race dates held in 2023. The 2024 Fresno race dates will start in September before the annual Fair begins. This historic race day allocation comes after the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) approved plans by the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) to create year-round racing in Northern California under the new Golden State Racing organization. This move was designed to keep live horse racing in Northern California after the closure of Golden Gate Fields on June 9, 2024.

“This is a new era of horse racing in Northern California and we know this expanded race meet in Fresno will draw big crowds,” said Larry Swartzlander, Executive Director of CARF and General Manager of the newly formed Golden State Racing. “Fresno has a reputation for its safe track and the incredible energy the crowds bring. The horse owners, trainers and jockeys are excited to have these additional race dates in Fresno and we can expect strong horse numbers and some incredible races.”

The 2024 Big Fresno Fair race dates are as follows: September Race Dates (pre-Fair): Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15; Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22; Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29. October Race Dates (during the Fair): Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6; Friday, Oct. 11 through Monday, Oct. 14.

“We are thrilled to host 14 days of live horse racing in Fresno this year,” said Christina Estrada, Interim CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. “Horse racing has an over 100-year history at our Fair and our community always shows up to support this longstanding tradition. As the only fair between Los Angeles and Sacramento with live horse racing, we bring something unique for our community to do. We have some fun-themed days at the races planned – so whether you’re a longtime horse racing fan or just curious about what it’s all about – mark your calendars and come support this expanded race meet.”

The Big Fresno Fair, founded in 1884, is the fifth largest fair in the state of California and represents the 21st District Agricultural Association. Over 500,000 people from throughout the state visit The Big Fresno Fair each year, making it the largest annual event in the Central Valley. The 2024 Big Fresno Fair will run Oct. 2 through 14. For more details, visit