Six fair projects have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Merrill Award and as presenters at the upcoming Western Fairs Convention, January 11-14 in Reno. The Merrill Award has become the “Oscar” for the fairs of the west, and is given to the projects that demonstrate outstanding vision and leadership in the field of fair development. This years nominees are:

• Antelope Valley Fair: Digital Marketing
• Big Fresno Fair: Historical Development/Community Outreach
• California Mid-State Fair: State Parks Sesquicentennial Celebration
• Del Norte County Fair: Crisis Response
• Maricopa County Fair: Youth Development
• OC Fair: Educational Programming

The final judging is conducted prior to the Convention and all six finalists will present overviews of their nominated projects on Wednesday, January 14. The result of the competition is not announced until the Industry Awards Celebration that evening.

“This is a great collection of our members best achievements in 2014,” said WFA President Pat Kress. “We are pleased to see two newcomers, Maricopa and Del Norte, join four past recipients as nominees, and all are to be commended for their work.”

Now in its 27th year, the Merrill Award is named in honor of the modern founder of WFA, Louis Merrill. Merrill formally incorporated WFA in 1947 and served as its chief executive until 1972.