WRAL.com at the State Fair

Will Steve Troxler get his million (again)?

Posted October 15, 2011 5:17 p.m. EDT

Last year was a landmark in the history of the North Carolina State Fair when over a million visitors attended. According to the North Carolina State Fair website, 1,091,887 attended the Fair in 2010. So the logical question arises: will it happen again? Will Steve Troxler get his second million in 2011?

I'm rooting for a second million-attendee year but my guess would be no. Here are my reasons why:

1) Amazing attendance numbers in 2010. Last year the Fair set attendance records on eight separate days.

2) Weather. The forecast calls for rain Wednesday and possible rain Tuesday and Thursday. If you've got to have rain during the Fair, Tuesday and Wednesday are the best times for it. But rain on Thursday could be really bad for attendance -- Thursday is "Food Lion Hunger Relief Day," and that day's generally huge (it was one of the record-setting days last year, with 125,573 attendees.)

3) Close margin. The NC State Fair broke one million attendees by 91,887. That's a good number but it's not enough to give margin for one or two really bad days and a slew of average ones.

I'm still pondering of the idea of essential problems (like space and capacity) versus event-specific decisions (performers, vendors, etc) and though I filled an entire page with percentage calculations I'm going to have to think about it more. The NC State Fair has achieved a lot of success with expansion (both in the length of the Fair and a better use of space) but there may be a limit on how effective that will be after a few years.

In the mean time, here's hoping for a second year of 2 million attendance!