10/02/13 — Fair attendance on pace for record

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Fair attendance on pace for record

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 2, 2013 1:46 PM

DUDLEY-- Good weather is helping the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair see record crowds this year, fair manager Eddie Pitzer said Tuesday.

"The weather has been good and the forecast looks great for the rest of the week," he said. "We're hoping this will be one of the few 10-day fairs where we've had good weather, and no rain, for the whole 10 days."

While fair officials haven't finished adding up all the numbers yet, Pitzer said Saturday and Monday nights both looked to have been among the best the fair has ever had, while the other nights have all been close to or perhaps slightly above average.

Helping Monday, he said, was the fair providing tickets to schools, allowing students free admission from 4 to 6 p.m., along with discounted ride wristbands. That deal also was offered Tuesday, allowing students to take advantage of the dozens of rides, including two new ones this year.

"Monday and Tuesday are typically slow days for us," Pitzer said. "So we wanted to do something to offer a discount to families while also drawing them in."

And because of those continued discounts, as well as it being Senior Citizens Day -- during which anybody 60 years and older could get in free -- he also had high hopes for Tuesday's numbers.

"We've had a lot of seniors here today. We had the pie baking contest. We have a lot going on," Pitzer said Tuesday.

Despite the subtraction of the demolition derby from this year's events, he said he thinks they've been able to build a strong and attractive lineup, focusing on the entertainment acts that perform at regular intervals throughout the evenings, such as the Nick's Kids Show, hypnotist Mike Bishop, Pirates of the Caribbean and others, as well as premier events such as the Wicked Bulls, which packed the grandstands Monday and Tuesday nights.

In addition, he said, the turnout for more locally focused events such as the livestock shows, the vocational competitions and the talent contests has been strong, and he expects that to continue tonight through Friday, especially with the cheerleading contest, which will feature at least 21 different schools at 5 p.m. tonight.

He also said he's received a lot of positive feedback about the changes made to the exhibit halls this year, which have allowed them to increase the number of displays, as well as about the overall appearance and cleanliness of the grounds.

"We feel like we're providing a good product and full lineup of entertainment for young and old, and we have one of the best midways at the fair with Powers. They always bring a great show," Pitzer said. "It's just a good way for a family to come out and have some good fun."