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Big Fresno Fairgrounds: Wikis


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The Big Fresno Fairgrounds, located in Fresno, California, is the site of the annual Big Fresno Fair. It is also used as a convention center, with nine facilities including the Paul Theatre, a livestock pavilion and the following buildings:

  • The 25,000-square-foot (2,300 m2) Commerce Building, which seats up to 3,867. It and the Industry Commerce Building, which also measures 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2), are the largest buildings in the complex. The Industry Commerce Building can hold up to 3,571.
  • The 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) Junior Exhibit Building seating up to 2,800.
  • The 19,000-square-foot (1,800 m2) Agriculture Building, seating up to 2,700.
  • The 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) Industrial Education Building seating up to 1,571.
  • The Gem and Minerals and Fur and Feathers buildings.

In addition to the Big Fresno Fair, the complex hosts conventions, trade shows and banquets.

Fresno Assembly Center

The fairground was the site of one of several temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') 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. 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. California Historical Landmark #934 is a memorial dedicated to 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 Ave entrance.

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