10/07/11 — Fair nears record for attendance

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Fair nears record for attendance

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 7, 2011 1:46 PM

Some are attracted to the freshly paved midway.

Others welcome the idea -- particularly in tough economic times -- of an affordable, close-to-home outing the whole family can enjoy.

But if you ask fair director Milton Ingram just why the 2011 edition of the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair is on pace to shatter its attendance record, his focus turns skyward.

"The weather," he said. "That's been the key."

Most can't remember the last time the midway remained open for the duration of an annual event that, if traffic tonight and Saturday looks anything like it has for the past week, will have drawn more than 100,000 people to the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

In fact, due to rain, there wasn't even a Day One of the fair last year.

But even Ingram admits that it takes more than mild temperatures and clear skies to draw a crowd.

"We've got a good fair in place," he said. "People are getting more than their money's worth."

From an agriculture and horticulture display that rivals any he has seen in his years running the event to acts that have been leaving many bystanders in stitches, Ingram said this year's fair just might have more to offer than those in the past.

And the freshly paved midway has made the grounds more accessible to wheelchairs, strollers and the elderly.

"People are really complimenting us on that," he added. "It's giving them a whole new experience."

So while he remains "pleasantly surprised," this is how Ingram always imagines the fair will turn out.

It just so happens that this year, Mother Nature is doing her part, too.