The rain helped lower attendance on Thursday, but overall attendance is still up 11 percent. The State Fair drew 550,992 fairgoers during its first seven days.
Yesterday saw only 88,801 visitors – a significant drop from last year's 103,323, a record attendance for a Thursday.
But fairgoers donned ponchos, held up umbrellas and braved out a 30-minute downpour at the fairgrounds Friday. Some accepted the rain as a necessity during the statewide drought.
"We thought if we changed our plans, it might not rain," Rachel Crosslin, of Hillsborough, said. "So we wanted to make sure that the rain came, and we're thrilled."
For younger fairgoers, though, the rain was just one more thing to enjoy at the fair. Lisa Hotlen's two children enthusiastically jumped up and down in puddles.
"We definitely need all the rain we can get," said Hotlen, of Winston-Salem. "I get to spend time with my whole family, so it's worth it, rain or no rain."