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State Fair a Grand Success

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RALEIGH — Everyone involved in the 1998 North Carolina State Fair is hailing it as a huge success. They may owe their biggest thank-you to Mother Nature.

This year's fair was a record-setting event with more than 779,000 people in attendance.

For 10 days, hundreds of thousands of people packed the midway at the North Carolina State Fair. They lined up to take some wild rides, try their luck at carnival games, and dive into fair food.

"Just watching their eyes light up, they sit there and look at it like, wow!" said Sherry Allred.

Rainy weather wreaked havoc on attendance during the 1997 State Fair. Just 50,000 people showed up on the first day.

On opening day this year, more than 100,000 people filled the fairgrounds. Mother Nature delivered 10 days of perfect weather, and the crowds keep on coming.

"I think this is the best. The weather's great and it's just fun -- just good to be here!" said Angie Mohamed, a fairgoer.

Wesley Wyatt, the fair's manager, was happy with this year's event. "We've had a wonderful run. We've had great shows, great exhibits, great attractions here at the fair. We couldn't be more pleased with the way things have turned out up until now."

Passersby were lured to lunch, supper and day-long snacks by siren songs from the civic groups staffing food concessions. "Come on in and have some lunch with the Apex Lions Club," coaxed one group. members of local civic groups share the enthusiasm about this year's turnout. The Apex Lions Club raises thousands of dollars by dishing out meals during the fair. The more people they serve, they more money they raise for community projects.

"It's been fantastic," Lion John Potts said. It's just fun coming out here and meeting the people, and just dealing with them. It's great," ,Kelly Gardner


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