Fair screams and moos past 300K
After a couple gloomy and rainy days in the middle of fair week, Mother Nature showered fair officials with a gorgeous weekend to help boost attendance over the 300,000 mark.
Fair officials estimated this year’s attendance at 300,717, a 7 percent increase over 2016. The fair set a record attendance of 339,000 in 2014.
“It’s not a bad year when you can top 300,000,” said Todd Hale, the fair’s publicity manager. “The two beautiful weekend days helped make up for the loss of attendance from the rainy days,” he added.
Saturday was one of the “biggest days we’ve ever had,” said Jim Gleason, manager of the fair. “Saturday really jumps out. It was a huge day,”
The fair is unable to provide attendance figures for specific days.
One of the gauges used to determine attendance is ATM transactions. The fair set a record of 2,624 ATM transactions, along with a record of $168,000 in cash disbursements.
Mega ride sales were down about 10 percent from the previous year. The fair sold 4,812 mega rides compared to 5,477 in 2016.
The fair now looks ahead to next year, which will mark a century of being on the current fairgrounds. Next year’s fair will be Aug. 14 – 19, and the theme will be “A Century Scene in 2018.”