Archived Story

Participation raises at fair

Published 8:44am Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Another year of ribbons and rides has come to a close.

The 163rd Cass County Fair wrapped up on Saturday, with the sold-out monster truck rally following the annual showmanship awards. The day’s events and activities drew the largest crowd of the week out to the fairgrounds.

Total attendance this year was 49,034, exceeding last year’s total by 2,199, according to statistics from fair officials. The official breakdown of the attendance is as follows:

Monday: 5,806

Tuesday: 8,191

Wednesday: 6,547

Thursday: 7,858

Friday: 7,365

Saturday: 13,267

Fair organizers attribute the increase in traffic at this year’s weeklong festivities to the favorable weather conditions, with clear skies and mild temperatures creating ideal conditions for visitors, exhibitioners, vendors and staff.

“Most years, there’s a day where it’s too rainy or too hot, so attendance goes down for the day,” said Fair Association President Gail Peterson. “This year, our numbers were pretty steady.”

Other numbers that improved from last year were the payouts for this year’s livestock auction. Peterson said that participants took home a total of $627,000 from buyers for their cows, lambs, chickens and other animals shown at the fair.

“The auction went really good,” Peterson said. “I think we improved over last year’s numbers by $90,000 to $95,000.”

This year’s grandstand events included old favorites such as the tractor pull and demolition derby, as well as a special musical event by The Willis Clan, a 12-member family band competing on this season of the TV program “America’s Got Talent.” All of these events resonated strongly with fairgoers, drawing capacity or near capacity crowds.

Food vendors and amusement ride crews were pleased by this year’s turnout as well, Peterson said.

“Everything seemed to go smoothly,” he said. “When something went wrong we had volunteers who stepped up to help.”

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