North Carolina State Fair

N.C. State Fair has best year ever

Posted October 24, 2010
Updated October 25, 2010

— The North Carolina State Fair on Sunday afternoon welcomed its 1 millionth visitor this year – the first time it has reached that number in its 150-year history.

Through Saturday, 981,320 people had visited the fair. That alone shattered the fair's attendance record, which was set just last year at 877,939 people.

On Sunday, Anita and Anthony Boylan walked through Gate 1 as the millionth visitors.

"I think it's amazing," said Janet Daughtry, a Selma basket weaver who has a booth at the fair. "They've been doing a count at our door, and we have had as many as 4,000 in an hour."

The big crowds also meant big returns for food vendors like John Carter. He's been selling food at the Westover United Methodist Church booth since he as 10 years old.

"It is the largest fundraiser for our church that we have," Carter said.

Those who went out to the fair Sunday enjoyed just about perfect weather – partly sunny skies and a high in the upper 70s.

Fair officials said weather like that was one big reason for the record turnout. It only rained one day this year.

On Saturday, more people – 151,647 – came to the fair than on any other day in its history. The previous single-day record of 145,995 was set in 2007. Crowds set daily attendance records on five other days this year as well.

Final attendance numbers for Sunday haven't yet been compiled.


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  • independentvoter3 Oct 26, 2010

    Not so sure fair attendance is such a great indicator of the economy bouncing back... Most folks have postponed vacations to settle for the fair... and add all the extra folks moving to the triangle on a daily basis (60+)... and you begin to see we're comparing apples to oranges... Still have a long, long ways to go!

  • meBNme Oct 25, 2010

    Thank you, thank you all... I'll be here till....
    Oh wait... never mind, I'm leavin now.

  • Tom Morrow Oct 25, 2010

    meBNme -

    MAN, that was good...

  • meBNme Oct 25, 2010

    OOPS!! Ran out of room and it cut me off....

    Heres the rest.

    Meanwhile 4 gangsters got shot, 5 folks had deepfried heart attacks, 4 people had strokes from the riding the tiltawhirl while high on cotton candy, and some crackhead set three rides ablaze while seeing how fast the funny colored hat he won at the ringtoss will burn if he stuffs it with kettlecorn.

    yeah, lets make the ambulance workers ride the cat buss to the fair....
    lets save the close parking spaces for people who eat "fair food" ALL YEAR long and thus, can hardly walk from their driver seat to the hoveround. it's vitally important that they get parking right next to the entrace. Otherwise the batteries might run out before they get to try all the elephant ears, funnel cakes, and deepfried icecream booths.

    The truly handicapped folks are pretty much out of luck, cause they'le be run over by some 700lb deepfried junkie carying 4 turkey legs, a bucket of fudge, and the skooter basket full of caramel apples.

  • JustAName Oct 25, 2010

    "Make the park and ride to the fair free, to encourage folks to use public transportation and not contribute to traffic/parking woes."

    Compared to the cost of gas and possible parking cost, the Park and Ride is free enough.

  • rebecca7 Oct 25, 2010

    LOL @ meBNme!!! Hilarious!

  • The Oracle Oct 25, 2010

    glitterangel33: "even taking those out of the initial attendance stats, that is still 1,040,000,000 people. :)

    I know we have a lot of state employees, but one Billion is stretching it a bit.

  • JustAName Oct 25, 2010

    "1 million x average ticket price of $7 and average person spends $30.00 = $37 million or more. Ummm, not bad for a weeks work. "

    I believe the NC State Fair Grounds is the only profitable state venture that doesn't receive state funding. In other words, it has revenue that exceeds it's operating cost, that allow it to renovate and grow. I am guessing they will be able to finish more renovations next year.

  • pisgah2005 Oct 25, 2010

    The fair comes once a year. Yes, the food is expensive and not heart smart. I have fun going anyway. Here are my suggestions:1) Make the park and ride to the fair free, to encourage folks to use public transportation and not contribute to traffic/parking woes. 2) Install more recycling bins on the midway. 3) Make all rides accessible using fair tickets. This year, I saw an increase in the number of places that you had to pay to play (the big zip up orbs and the bungee harnesses were two) instead of using tickets. 4) Offer a one-way ride (and price) on the tram. Otherwise, I say keep up the good work!

  • Z Man Oct 25, 2010

    I didn't go. First you have to pay $8 to get in for the privilege of paying $8 for a sausage and pepper sandwich or $4 for a small ice cream.

    I can afford it but won't.