Spokesman Brian Long said that 131,669 people came through the gates Saturday. By comparison, the average attendance for the first Saturday of the fair has averaged about 99,000 for the past decade, and attendance on that day has rarely risen above 115,000 in the past 24 years.
Saturday's numbers fell short of the record of 139,261 set in 1984.
The fair attracted record crowds on both Thursday afternoon – the preview day – and Friday, drawing more than 77,000 visitors that day.
The weather was expected to stay pleasant throughout the fair's run. WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner called for "another beautiful fall day" Monday, with bright sunshine and temperatures reaching 80 degrees. It will get cooler as the week goes on, Deaner said, but will remain mostly sunny and seasonal.
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