We don’t have an exact comparison since we’ve switched to a new ticketing and gate-attendance tracking system this year which is different from how we’ve tracked numbers in the past. However, our best estimates for this year show gate attendance down 20% for the first eight days of the fair compared to the same period last year.
That still means gate attendance estimates of hundreds of thousands of people, with strong concerts, the tractor pull and Friday’s rodeo and latino bands drawing significant crowds throughout the course of the fair.
By comparison, last year’s fair had excellent weather. It saw only two days that reached above 86 degrees, compared to five days of 89 degrees or above this year — including humid days with a heat index above 100 degrees. And this year, half of the first eight days had rain, whereas last year’s fair had no rain.