The Sun City Fair will not be returning to El Paso this year.
After two years and thousands of funnel cakes, the fair says that they just can’t host their event in El Paso until something is done about all of the dust at Ascarate Park.
“We tried it a couple of years. We tried to make it work in that lot at Ascarate, but it’s just too dusty,” David Renfro, event coordinator for the Sun City Fair told El Paso 411. “When the wind blows, which it does often, it hurts, it stings and it gets in peoples food. It’s hard to have a fair there when all rides and concessions are covered in dirt.”
Renfro says they are still very much interested in El Paso and hosting the event at Ascarate, however, the county should be the one to pay to pave the lot.
“It just wasn’t within their budget. We don’t get the money they charge for parking,” he said.
Sun City Fair offered a wide variety of attractions, including a petting zoo, pig races, pony and camel rides, live tigers, and dozens of fair games and rides. There were also celebrity meet and greets and concerts.
Most major cities have their own county fair lot. In Albuquerque, the Expo New Mexico fairgrounds has a dedicated 236 acres for fairs and large events. In El Paso, the lot for Sun City Fair is about 10 acres and does not offer any amenities for events, including restrooms. Ascarate has been home to several events, including Sun City Music Festival, where one of the main complaints of the event is the dust. In 2006, the former Western Playland moved out from the lot after several conflicts with the County, including disagreements on upgrades.
Tessa Jimenez, Special Events Coordinator with the El Paso County Parks and Events says they are aware of the issue and are working on improvements, but it’s going to take some time.
“There is a long-term plan that is currently being developed but everything is in ranking order,” she said.
The County plans to release master plans for the park in the future, although no timeframe was available.
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