The 151st Fulton County Fair has set new records for largest one-day attendance and largest Saturday attendance.
The new single-day record was set Sunday, Aug. 31, when 63,530 people went through the gates.
That tops the old record, set on Sunday in 2006, when 62,743 went to the fair. The new figure is 787, or 1.25%, higher.
The 2008 fair had its best Saturday ever, 58,621, on Saturday, Aug. 30. That topped the old Saturday record of 58,321 set last year.
The new Saturday record is 300, or about a half of a percentage point, higher.
Attendance for Friday and Monday were down from previous years.
On opening day, Friday, Aug. 29, a total of 23,334 went through the gates, down 3,487 from the Friday count in 2007, which was 26,821. The drop in attendance was 3,487, or about 13%.
The Monday 2008 attendance was 47,235, down by 11,830 when compared to Labor Day, 2007, when attendance was 59,065. In percentage terms, the difference is about 20%.
Carl Buehrer, president of the Fulton County Fair Board, said it’s hard to determine what’s going on with crowd numbers.
In the past, he said, it would seem one group of people would leave the fair, then a new group would arrive. That hasn’t been happening this year, he said.
"The weather has been excellent, just a little bit hot, nothing unbearable, and there’s a nice breeze blowing," he said.
The Archbold Water Treatment Plant recorded high temperatures ranging from 88 degrees to 95 degrees during fair time so far this year.
Buehrer attributed part of the all-time high-one day figure to the sellout crowd for The Beach Boys, a nationally-famous recording group that traces its roots back to 1961.
"It was an excellent show," he said.
The four-day attendance total (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) for this year is 192,720.
That was off from the fourday record of 201,313 last year. The difference of 8,593 was a drop of about 4.27%.
When asked if the current diffi cult economic times were hurting the fair, Buehrer said some of the merchants reported sales were up 4% to 5%. However, people have changed their buying habits. Buehrer said one retailer who sells fudge reported she had more customers, but many are buying a halfpound instead of a full pound.
"It depends on the product. (People) are not throwing their money away," he said.- David Pugh