Local News

Beautiful Weather, Record Crowds Bid Graham 'Fair' Well

Posted October 22, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Ten days of farm animals, food and fun are over. The 133rd annual N.C. State Fair is now in the history books.

Fairgoers packed the midway for the fair's final day Sunday. Willie Nelson fans also got a treat. The country legend rocked Dorton Arena with a free concert.

Nelson was not the only star of the show.Jim Grahamalso had top billing. After 36 years in office, this was Graham's last as the state's agriculture commissioner.

"It's great way to wind down my career with such a good performance," says Graham. "Naturally, I'm pleased, and a little emotional, but the sense of it is you are serving people and people love the state fair. We've had a great run."

Arecord number of people attendedthe fair this year:

  • During the 10-day event, 846,724 people passed through the gates.
  • The overall record was broken Saturday, October 21, when a record day's total of 137,513 people attended.
  • The previous attendance record was set in 1998 with 779,356 people.
  • In 1999, just over 707,000 people took part in the festivities.

    Lots of people add up to tons of trash. The big cleanup is under way. State Fair officials say 700 tons of trash was generated during the fair. -->