Local News

State Fair Shatters Attendance Record

Posted October 22, 2007 6:53 a.m. EDT
Updated October 22, 2007 12:52 p.m. EDT

— As crews packed up the midway on Monday, North Carolina State Fair officials were celebrating a new attendance record.

The 2007 fair attracted 858,611 people, easily beating the record of 846,724, which was set in 2000, officials said.

"I had a good feeling going into this year's fair that it would be record-setting, and I am thrilled we have reached this milestone," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement. "Just as importantly, I am grateful we had a safe fair and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves."

Troxler opened the fair on Oct. 12 by saying he hoped 1 million people would attend the 10-day festival.

Sunday's attendance of 98,433 was also a record for a second Sunday. The previous record of 90,241 was set in 2005.

The fair also set daily attendance records on Tuesday and Saturday.

Sold-out concerts at Dorton Arena by former "American Idol" contestants Chris Daughtry and Kellie Pickler and appearances by food guru Paula Deen and others helped boost attendance, officials said. Also, they said, a record-setting midway, with 113 rides, played a role.