10/04/04 — Storm causes fair traffic jam

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Storm causes fair traffic jam

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on October 4, 2004 2:00 PM

A brief storm on Saturday night caused a traffic jam at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair.

Milton Ingram, fair manager, said it began raining around 8 p.m. for about 30 minutes and a large amount of fairgoers left at the same time. The parking attendants were overwhelmed, and they were doing everything they could to get everyone out as quickly as possible, he said.

Some people did not follow the flow of traffic and turned the wrong way. This caused even more problems, he said. Around 15,000 people attended the fair on Saturday night, and many were coming to the fair when it started raining, which also affected the traffic flow.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Department helped a church group direct traffic, and Sheriff Carey Winders spent several hours working, he said.

"Bargain Days" are today and Tuesday and Ingram hopes it will bring more people to the fair during the week and help prevent any major traffic situations on the weekends.

He does not plan on changing the way the fair traffic is handled, because the backup was really just the result of a lot of people leaving at the same time due to the rain.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience," said Ingram.

Around the same time the rain came, a transformer near the permanent food concessions and Midway living quarters burned out.

The area was without power for about three and a half hours, and representatives from Progress Energy were eventually able to fix it.

A fire truck was used to provide light in that area until the transformer was fixed, said Ingram.