About 42,600 people visited the fair during the six-day festival, according to figures from the fair board. This is an 18 percent increase compared to 2012, when about 36,000 people attended.
“A lot of it had to do with the weather,” Erie County Fair board president Bob McDowell said. “It was just an ideal week other than Wednesday, when it poured rain. But we bounced right back on Thursday.”
For the second consecutive year, volunteers counted every single person who entered the fairgrounds, including children participating in 4-H competitions at no admission.
In years past, fair employees would track attendance figures by tallying only the number of people who paid $7 for one-day admission, or $20 for an all-access pass. The 2013 paid-attendance figure totaled about 13,800 people, equating to a 12 percent jump from 2012.
New attractions such as the trapeze act, meanwhile, enticed thousands to visit the fair, McDowell said.
To attract even more people next year, McDowell said a mix of free, fresh attractions with good weather should greatly contribute to another spike in attendance. “Everyone on the fair board, and I think everyone who came out, seemed pleased with what we had,” McDowell said. “You try to provide good family entertainment. When the weather cooperates and the price is low, they will come.”