North Carolina State Fair

N.C. State Fair has best year ever

Posted October 24, 2010 10:19 a.m. EDT
Updated October 25, 2010 5:48 a.m. EDT

— 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.