Fairgoers upset with outcome of Special Friends Day at fair

Say rides opened hours after they got there

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Kern County Fair held Special Friends Day this morning, opening up the grounds to people with disabilities for free. 

However, some fairgoers were upset with the outcome of the event this year. 

According to the Kern County Fair website, Special Friends Day was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. 

But Rene Leon, who brought his nephew with autism to the fair says at 11 a.m. they were barely inspecting one of the rides. 

Marlina Zavala said only two rides opened -- hours after people got there. Then she says they turned people away in line. 

"They didn't let us finish, you know, the little bit of line that was left, just said no we are closed. Kids were upset, crying, they didn't understand," said Zavala. 

"To me they were not doing their job," said Leon. 

Both Leon and Zavala said in previous years multiple rides were open early in the day. 

However, activities were still available for the fairgoers this year, with duck races, a circus act and turkey stampede. 

"It just makes me feel frustrated and sad that these kids are not experiencing the fair," said Leon. 

23ABC reached out to Kern County Fair CEO and General Manager, Mike Olcott multiple times Thursday, and even asked him for a comment at the fair Thursday evening, but he would not comment on our story. 

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