Like the carnival game where a lad rolls up his sleeves and swings the mallet to ring the bell, the Wayne County Fair hit a new attendance record in 2013. SEE THE RELATED FAIR PHOTO GALLERY.
Like the carnival game where a lad rolls up his sleeves and swings the mallet to ring the bell, the Wayne County Fair hit a new attendance record in 2013.
The 151st Wayne County Fair, which ended August 10th, reached 96,602 in paid admissions.
Fair President Roger Dirlam said they had a really good stretch of "fair weather" which boosted their numbers. He said if it wasn't for the rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, they might have easily topped the 100,000 mark. They were watching the numbers the first few days wondering if that might happen.
This year's total beat the last record year in 2006, which numbered 93,825. The 2012 total was 90,090.
Expecting nine days of good weather is hard to do, he said.
Dirlam said that the Fair is able to handle this many people, although it can get packed. The final day, Saturday, had 16,977 which was quite crowded. That didn't match one epic Saturday in 1994, Dirlam recalled, when 18,252 folks showed up. "That was really jammed," Dirlam said. "People were almost walking sideways down the [fairgrounds]."
Of course not everyone is attracted to the big jams. Some purposely choose to attend during the week to avoid the weekend or come early, such as late morning and be there just as the Midway opens at noon to have lunch and go. That way there may be a better chance at quickly finding your car in the lot!
Others seem to love the crowds. The more the better.
Dirlam affirmed that in addition to good weather, it remains the quality of the fair and its attractions that keeps people coming back.
Despite the rain on Friday, the grandstand was packed for the Demolition Derby. "People really like that," he said. This year they didn't charge for the Demolition Derby, which in recent years had seen a decrease in attendance. A lot of local people get involved in the event, to watch the cars crash. Three or four families might be involved with getting one car in the derby.
"In a couple weeks we'll be having our first meeting and reinvent the wheel," Dirlam said. The Fair Board starts all over again early, to sketch out the next year's edition. Dirlam added about the Wayne County Fair, "It's a great thing for the community. Where else can you go for eight bucks for the rides?"