10/10/13 — Final numbers are in for local fair

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Final numbers are in for local fair

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 10, 2013 1:46 PM

DUDLEY -- The Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair attracted an estimated 100,000 people, setting record attendance on several days, fair officials say.

The weather was clear every day of the fair, which helped greatly with attendance, Pitzer noted.

"Overall, we were very pleased with the way things turned out," he said.

But even as workers continue to clean up and store exhibits, fair officials already are planning for next year's event, Fair Manager Eddie Pitzer said.

"The fair committee will meet next month to talk about what we liked, disliked, what we want to build on and start planning for next year," he said.

It is too early to determine how financially successful the fair will prove to have been, Pitzer added. The fair is owned and operated by the Wayne County Livestock Development Association.

"Judging by the past, and the invoices coming in, it will be November before we know," he said, adding that the association has consistently turned revenues back into improving the fairgrounds."

The estimated attendance was up from about 95,000 last year. The increase was particularly evident in record attendance on the first Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, Pitzer said.

Pitzer didn't have exact numbers for those days, but estimated it was at least a 15 percent increase over the past three years.

"Monday and Tuesday, we did the school ticket special," he said. "Students could get in free from 4 to 6 p.m. Of course we had the $3 discount on carnival rides. So that was a $7 savings for students.

"We are trying to look at what we can offer in terms of values and deals on Mondays and Tuesdays, which typically have been some of our slower nights."

Pitzer thinks that the Wicked Bulls and Dances with Bulls events helped attract the big Monday and Tuesday night crowds.

On both nights, the grandstand was full, he said.

Pitzer said he expects both of the popular shows will return next year.

Also popular was the conversion of the livestock arena into an exhibit hall for youths, he said.

However, the building will have to be changed back to a livestock arena in time for the April Wayne County Junior Livestock Show and Sale, which is also sponsored by the Livestock Development Association.

Converting the arena to an exhibit area meant the fair had to find a new home for its popular livestock shows. That was a large open-sided tent at the southeast end of the grandstand arena.

"We also had a lot good comments on the changes to the main exhibit hall and the addition of the youth building," Pitzer said. "The juniors felt like they had their own building dedicated to their work. It allowed us to spread out the exhibits and to do a better job displaying them."