North Carolina State Fair

Fair attendance slightly down this year

Posted October 20, 2011
Updated October 21, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Attendance at the North Carolina State Fair this year is down slightly from last year's record-setting event when more than 1 million people crowded the fairgrounds over the 11-day run, State Fair officials said Thursday. 

More than 500,000 people passed through gates at the fair as of Tuesday putting it about 29,000 people behind last year at this time, according to totals released Thursday. 

The slight dip isn't worrying organizers, who say this year's attendance is still above average. 

Fair attendance dips Fair attendance dips

"Last year was absolutely amazing, attendance-wise. We set nine daily attendance records last year, which was unprecedented. The odds of that happening in back-to-back years are pretty low,"  fair spokesman Brian Long said.

Tammy Lack, who has been working at the Sunrise United Methodist booth since it opened at the fair 11 years ago, said sales have been mixed.

"This year, we've had two days that were higher than last year, and three days that were lower than last year," Lack said. 

Thursday was also looking up for Sunrise, a day after rain dampened attendance at the fair, Lack said. 

State Fair attendance surged to 877,939 people in 2009, a year after the fair added a preview day to the schedule. It was the second-highest attendance in the last decade. 

Fair total attendance since 2001: 

  • 2001: 695,177
  • 2002: 696,977
  • 2003: 833,955
  • 2004: 836,319
  • 2005: 795,930
  • 2006: 785,956
  • 2007: 858,611
  • 2008: 765,067
  • 2009: 877,939
  • 2010: 1,091,887
46 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • quaten Oct 21, 2011

    If everything is so over-priced, what is the point of the fair anyway? Does anybody know why the fair began (way back whenever)?

  • quaten Oct 21, 2011

    .."Well, dear you did not have to purchase it. You could have taken the time and made lunches and took that with you. Next time you will know." :wildcat

    Which makes it a picnic. Good idea.

  • common_sense_plz Oct 21, 2011

    I went, it was a waste of money and i do not plan on returning at anypoint in my life. My daughter usually enjoys the rides, but even though they used the same amusement co. for the last several years, she felt the rides were not what they had been several years ago. She too has no interest in returning. Now if AG Dept went with another amusement co. with better and more rides, then we may return, but I honestly do not wish to return.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Oct 21, 2011

    I expect high prices at the fair but $8.50 for a turkey leg?? Come on...

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Oct 21, 2011

    Well, if everyone did what I do, and that is STAY AWAY from the fair, then they would get the message and lower their prices. The fair didn't cost me a thing this year, and hasn't for many years!

  • mmtlash Oct 21, 2011

    "Looking at cows and pigs are just not my thing." -weedy

    They have bunnies and baby chicks too! :-p

  • wildcat Oct 21, 2011

    My only complaint was the cost of food. $6 for a hot dog? $5 for a soda? That was a little extreme.
    righthere1234

    Well, dear you did not have to purchase it. You could have taken the time and made lunches and took that with you. Next time you will know.

  • righthere1234 Oct 21, 2011

    Went to the fair Tuesday afternoon with my husband, parents, and 2 kids. Bought our tickets in advance and rode the CAT bus. Including the tickets we bought ahead of time, we spent $100. We've spent more in the past. My only complaint was the cost of food. $6 for a hot dog? $5 for a soda? That was a little extreme.

  • wildcat Oct 21, 2011

    LOWER YOUR PRICES and you will see your attendance numbers SKYROCKET.

    Love your comment. I hope they see it.

  • Pseudonym Oct 21, 2011

    Note to NC Dept of Agriculture: LOWER YOUR PRICES and you will see your attendance numbers SKYROCKET.

More...