Even though attendance at the 166th Medina County Fair seems to have been down, paid admissions were up, which may actually mean there was an increase in revenue, said Medina County Agricultural Society President Chuck Stiver.
“It’s really hard to say if we’re really down in attendance,” he said. “… We changed the entire system in which we track attendance this year. Before, we relied on ticket takers with a clicker, and with human error involved … it may not have been the most effective way to track the attendance. So this year we went to counting the hard copies of tickets. I think the system is much more accurate, and we think it gives us a better picture of how the fair went.”
According to figures released Friday, attendance was down by nearly 9,000 from the 2010 season. Attendance for 2011 was approximately 109,000, while 2010 ended with roughly 118,000.
“The number one thing we hang our hat on is total revenue, and that looks to be up,” Stiver said. “One thing we know that was up are paid admissions, and that is a very good sign.”
Admission this year was $5 for adults and $2 for children and seniors. Total adult admission was reported as 57,874 and children and senior admission was reported at 23,586.
Revenue numbers were not available Friday, but are expected next week, Stiver said.
“The way that I judge a successful fair is based on three things — was the parking lot full every night, was the midway full every night, and were the grandstands full? To me, you get a gut feeling if it was a successful year or not,” he said. “I can tell you from where I was sitting the parking lot was full almost every night, the midway was packed, and the grandstands were well sold for every event.”
The fair came to a close Aug. 7 with the traditional fireworks display after a long week of events, contests, power outages, some heavy rains and mud.
On Aug. 4, the fairgrounds and parts of Medina lost power for about four hours in the morning until just before noon.
“It really didn’t seem to affect anyone,” Stiver said. “The fair itself doesn’t really get moving until just after noon, so it didn’t make a big impact. We had running water, and our vendors were using other alternatives to get their cooking done, so everyone managed.”
Stiver said no events were postponed due to the lack of power, but the junior market goat show was moved outside to take advantage of better lighting.
“I would say there were very few hiccups throughout the week. All the committees managed to get through everything and really pulled together,” Stiver said. “It was warm out all week, but it was cool at night, and it really didn’t seem to hurt the crowds from coming out.”
Stiver said that two events were cancelled due to the heavy rains. The draft horse hitch show scheduled for Aug. 5 in the grandstand and the mini horse show for Aug. 7 in the horse arena were both called due to the soggy conditions.
The mini horse show has been rescheduled for the annual Fall Foliage Tour in October at the fairgrounds, but Stiver said he doesn’t think the draft horse hitch show will be rescheduled.
The event that pulled in the biggest crowd was the motocross show with 1,548 tickets, while the rough truck show sold approximately 1,229.
Contact Dani Orr at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.