New Fair Board CEO Now Preparing For Upcoming Fair & Fiesta
By Chris Furguson
“I tell my friends that my days are getting faster and longer,” said new California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta CEO Alan Phillips. Phillips, who has been on the job since October 2016, is currently in final preparations for the Fair & Fiesta which begins on March 3, 2017 at the Imperial Valley Expo.
Just prior to taking on the role of Fair CEO, Phillips had been a member of the Fair’s Heritage Foundation that helped raise money and provided direction for the Fair Board, also known as the California 45th District Agricultural Association. Phillips volunteered to work on the first website for the heritage foundation.
Phillips brings a new technological perspective to the Fair, having been the technology coordinator for both the Holtville Unified School District and the Imperial County Office of Education.
An example of this technological perspective can be found in plans for the Fair’s High School Madness event.
This year, students will be sold wristbands with their tickets to ensure every ticket holder has a seat at the Grandstands. Students unable to physically attend the event will be still able to watch a live feed of the show at the Rabobank Center Stage located just before the Midway.
“All the kids will still be able to see the activities,” Phillips said.
Phillip’s experience with the Fair also extends beyond his new job. After teaching himself how to play the drums, Phillips became part of the local “Mudpuppies” act, even providing an opening act for country music singer Earl Thomas Conley nearly twenty years ago.
Conley also plans on making the Rabobank Center Stage, located on the east side of the Casa De Manana building near the Midway, an important hub for the Fair.
As Fair CEO, Phillips said that he now sees the overall fair, from the Grandstand and the midway to the livestock and auction, which is a bigger task than his previous role in helping raise money for the Fair through the Heritage Foundation.
According to the State, the California Mid-Winter Fair generates around 6.9 million dollars and the equivalent of 45 full time jobs during the ten days.
This year’s Fair and Fiesta will include the return of Metalachi and the appearance of 60’s English rock band Foghat. During the second weekend, there will be four days of automobile action with a demolition derby and several car races.
Also scheduled to return to the Fair and Fiesta is Hypnotist Suzy Haner, who will mesmerize the fairgrounds several times a night.
Advanced tickets are now available through several outlets until March 2. This year’s Fair theme is “The Sweet Life.”