WRAL.com at the State Fair

Steve Troxler's million is looking more plausible

Posted October 18, 2010 12:21 p.m. EDT

I always love a blog post where I have to break out the spreadsheet.

Thursday and Friday were record-setting days at the Fair. Thursday's attendance was 47,677, while Friday's was 77,485. Saturday's attendance was not a record, but at 131,699 it missed being a record by less than 9,000 attendees and beat the ten-year average for that day by over 30,000 people.

So the attendance so far has been 256,861. If attendance for the rest of the Fair merely maintains its ten-year average, total attendance will be 890,437, which would definitely break the record attendance of last year.

But it seems unlikely that attendance will only match the ten year averages; four daily attendance records were set last year (I'm not counting the first Thursday as it doesn't have a long history) and so far Wednesday is the only day that looks threatened by bad weather.

So what happens if you take that 10-year average and raise the total for the remaining days, say, 15 percent? (If that seems far-fetched to you, keep in mind that the difference between Friday's attendance and the ten-year average was about 44 percent, and the difference between Saturday's attendance and the ten-year average was about 32 percent.)

You get an attendance of 728,612 and a total Fair attendance of 985,473.

Yow. Suddenly the idea of a million attendees doesn't look so far-fetched after all!