December 20, 2014


Rain soaks fair attendance for 10K drop from last year

Fairgoers on the “kite flying” ride get a bird’s eye view of a stunning sunset Friday. (ALEC SMITH / GAZETTE)

Fairgoers on the “kite flying” ride get a bird’s eye view of a stunning sunset Friday. (ALEC SMITH / GAZETTE)

The Band Perry giveth, but the rain taketh away.

Medina County fair board members are blaming cold rainy weather for lower admittance numbers for the fair this year.

Fair director Dave Bertram said attendance figures for Sunday, the last day of the fair, aren’t in yet. But he expected the final tally to be down as much as 10,000 from last year’s total paid attendance of 86,640.

Bertram said The Band Perry drew more than 5,800 fans on Thursday — more than any of the fair’s headliner events in years.

But that didn’t make up for the rain, he said.

“The rain on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday was really the worst hit,” he said. “Saturdays are usually are biggest days.”

The rain Saturday brought the numbers down 5,266 from last year and canceled some events that were new to the fair this year like the BMX show, fair board president Conrad Haneberg said.

“Last year we had really high numbers because the temperature was high 70s, low 80s and it only rained one day,” Bertram said.

Despite the rain, Bertram said wristband pit pass sales were up 1,500 this year, for tractor pulls, derbies and other track events.

Haneberg said e-tickets were also very successful for the grandstand events this year.

“A lot of people were buying their tickets online and we were able to just scan them at the gate,” he said.

Haneberg said the board hopes to improve grandstand signage for next year to try to reduce some of the lines to get in.

He said the four entrances to the grandstand don’t all have the proper signs which led to people all standing in one line at the main gate for events this year.

Haneberg said the board is also looking into paving the ground in front of the grandstand for people with disabilities.

“It’s all gravel and not very accessible,” he said. “We also want to increase the seating for people with disabilities because there’s just not enough for the community.”

Contact reporter Katie Anderson at (330) 721-4012 or

  • Realistic

    Maybe this is a sign to change how the fair is run and split
    it out to larger, weekend events year-round? The fair grounds literally lay in
    waste for much of the year – it is a terrible sight to see since nobody cares
    about maintaining. The only attention it receives is the week before and week
    of the fair. This is a very poor use of something that could really be nice. Why
    can’t events, shows, and concerts happen there year round to make good use of
    it? Do we really need or want a county fair that is only one week? Why cram all
    of that in?? I would actually visit events at this facility if it were done
    this way. Until then, no fair-week for my family.

  • chris

    why don’t you try to put on the fair then complain about it. All of the people volunteer there time to put on that fair, including me. This is one of the best county fairs around. If you would look at the website, there are year around events its not just wasted land, and it is maintained. I could go on but you are just being ignorant. You teach you teach your children not to judge so why not practie what you preach and get informed before you speak.

  • Medina Me

    This is one of the best county fairs in the area and rivals the great geauga county fair for events and activities. I look forward to it every year. But there is one good idea mentioned – why not bring some other events to the fairgrounds throughout the year? It certainly works for Cuyahoga county’s fair ground – they have rib cook offs and other festivals like Oktoberfest and haunted houses in October. I’d love to see the Medina fairgrounds used more often – they’re a great asset to the community and can certainly generate a lot of money.

  • Medina Me

    And thank you to everyone who helps plan and organize this event each year. I appreciate your hard work!

  • Loren S.

    They need to get Dock Dogs back next year!

  • Realistic

    I drive by this facility daily and it is an ugly joke. It is a rinky-dink eyesore for 51 weeks if the year.
    Yes, I would love to be in charge of this place to bring normal, nice events in year round. It is embarrassing that it only has one main use and the rest if the year, it lays in waste. It needs more than just the hillbilly Olympics.

  • Kimberly Carey

    Agree missed the dock dogs this year also. I made a comment on Facebook about missing them and surprised how many other people missed them also