Local News

State Fair reaches 1 million attendance mark again

Posted October 24, 2011 10:08 a.m. EDT
Updated October 24, 2011 6:31 p.m. EDT

— Thanks to a strong final weekend and good weather for much of the past 10 days, the 2011 North Carolina State Fair hit the 1 million attendance mark for the second year in a row. However, that didn't necessarily translate into a banner year for some vendors.

With 105,499 people in attendance Sunday, the total attendance for the fair was 1,009,173, second only to 2010, when 1,091,887 people attended. 

State Fair spokesman Brian Long says vendors reported a mixed bag of profit, some saying they had "their best day ever" and others saying "sales are down a little bit."

"We'll never do another year like we did last year. That was fantastic," food vendor Ed Fuller said. "The crowds were pretty good (this year), but they weren't spending."

Most people go to the fair with a set budget, Fuller said, and it's hard to predict how willing they are to spend it.

"They divide it up against eating, riding and so forth. You can't ever tell," he said.

The Fullers' Charcoal Hearth booth is not a make-or-break enterprise. The family splits the profit and makes enough to have some fun, he said.

"We did all right. We're going to come back next year," he said.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler called the fair "wonderful" and said he hopes people have already marked their calendars for the 2012 State Fair, which is scheduled for Oct. 11-21 next year.

“For the most part, we had fantastic weather, and the final weekend was absolutely beautiful," Troxler said in a statement. "I cannot thank fairgoers enough for their continued support."