In the Fall of 1987 and the Fall of 1988, Disneyland began a State Fair Promotion that included a parade, carnival booths with games, State Fair foods and several shows.
Fair foods included single slices of delicious fresh baked apple and berry pie, BBQ turkey legs, Buffalo Chili (made from real buffalo meat), cotton candy and fresh popped popcorn. Carnival and game booths were located in the hub featuring games of chance.
Included in the event were:
The State Fair Parade on the parade route from Small World Mall to Town Square
featuring floats with mini Ferris Wheels, marching bands, kids on bikes, dancing prize-winning vegetables and Disney characters aplenty including Clara Cluck and her barnyard friends.
You can watch Barbara Taylor's excellent video of the State Fair Parade HERE.
The Lumberjack's Timber Carnival on the Rivers of America featuring Dave Durham and the Bull Durham Band with Ax throwing, log rolling and tree climbing competitions. During this time, Dave Durham auditioned, and got called back, for a job doing voice over work for Disney. Out of the thousand people who auditioned, Dave was picked and they hired him to be the voice of "Wendell" for the newly revamped Country Bear Jamboree attractions at Disneyland. During their 10 week engagement at Disneyland, Anaheim, the folks at Disney asked him to fill in for a month at a club on Pleasure Island at Disney World, Orlando. They later were doing discovered at the Neon Armadillo in Orlando, when Michael Eisner caught their act, and offered them an open ended contract.
The Wizards of RAD BMX Bike Show at Videopolis featuring Goofy and his team of radical BMX Bike riders doing tricks on ramps. Martin Aparejo, Robert Castillo, Marco Saiz, Edwin Delarosa, Goofy, Jess Dyrenforth, Doug Randazzo, Robert Smart, Teddy Castelucci and the band, Freeflight.
Dare Devil Diving Team (1987) featuring fancy diving and incredible diving tricks from great heights.
Two full size Ferris Wheels located in the Hub and the Main Street Train Station in 1987 and in the Hub and Big Thunder Mountain Ranch in 1988.
PIGMANIA Pig Races in Big Thunder Ranch featuring races with REAL pigs and The Barley Boys (some of whom would later become Billy Hill and the Hillbillies).
You can see a Barbara Taylor video of PIGMANIA HERE
Disneyland Goes Whole Hog!
One of the more popular shows during the two seasons of State Fair was PIGMANIA. It featured a lively show by the Barley Boys and three pig races using real pigs. The band featured Farley Barley, Charley Barley, Marley Barley, Harley Barley and Cousin Ed singing all about the wonderful attributes of pigs.
Members of the Barley Boys Band during the two seasons included: Dick Hardwick, Joe Jacobite, Mario Hidalgo, Kirk Wall, Dennis Fetchet, John Marshall, Gary Francisco, and many more.
Several of these band members later formed the original Billy Hill and the Hillbillies who performed in Critter Country in 1989 for the opening of Splash Mountain. These included: Kirk Wall, Dennis Fetchet, Mario Hidalgo and John Marshall.
During an average Pigmania Show, the band came out and welcomed everyone and sing a song about
Before the race gets under way, the audience is divided into four sections with four of the Barley Boys leading his section in an encouraging hog call to speed their pig up during the race.
The first race features the following pig contestants:
The second race features the following pig contestants:
The third race features the Three little Pigs in a salute to the OLYM-PIGS 1988 and this is followed by a race of four very hefty black potbelly pigs, who fall and crash into each other a great deal.
The show ends with the band and the three pigs singing and marching into a rousing version of The Battle Hymn of the Republic with new words.
Below is an audio of the entire 1988 Pigmanis Show featuring both Kirk Wall and Dennis Fetchet (future Billy Hill and the Hillbillies' original members.
1987-1988 State Fair at Disneyland