WRAL.com at the State Fair

So! Many! People!

Posted October 22, 2007 3:46 p.m. EDT

The Fair officials did not get the one million visitors that they were hoping for, but they should be pretty excited about the turnout anyway: three daily records were set (Tuesday, last Saturday, last Sunday) and an all-time attendance record was set (858,611).

As these records are broken and more and more people do attend the Fair, the fairgrounds are going to be more and more stretched. I think the Agriculture Department is going to end up doing a complete rethink about how to use the fairgrounds. Yes, the midway is great. But do we need dozens of watergun races? Could we do something different with the old midway?

Could there be local groups, schools, and organizations that offer fun, information, and contests? NC State engineers offering information on homegrown water reclamation systems and solar power solutions (with different teams participating in solar illumination contests around the fairgrounds?) Could the North Carolina State Archives set up a tent full of computers and demonstrate the many archives available to citizens? Can we expand the Lego contest to include a Lego robot contest? Etc?

I am totally blue-skying here. Maybe I got some bad cotton candy. But the goal to get one million people to the fairgrounds means at the least the opportunity to educate one million citizens (and yes, I know some people never leave the midway, just as some people never go further than the exhibition buildings.) Hmmm...