There were no new singleday attendance records, but the 2013 Fulton County Fair set a new four-day record, when more than 200,000 people went through the gates.
The four-day Labor Day weekend period, from Friday through Monday, are the biggest days for attendance.
This year, a total of 212,505 people visited from Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2.
Records going back to 1998 show that the four-day crowd topped 200,000 only twice: in 2007 (201,313), and 2010, which held the previous four-day record of 209,746.
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were all big days, with attendance over 60,000 each day.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, attendance was 60,127. That was up 142 over 2012, when 59,985 visited.
Attendance on Sunday, Sept. 1, was 63,318, which was 212 persons shy of the 64,530 record set in 2008.
But, it was far above the 2012 Sunday figure, when 56,349 went to the fair.
The difference between 2012 and 2013 is 6,929 persons, or 12.4%.
On Monday, Sept. 2, 64,212 persons passed through the gate, up 17,443, or almost 38%, from 2012, when attendance was 46,769.
But the Monday attendance figure is nowhere near the all-time record, set in 2011. That year, 73,105 people visited the Fulton County Fairgrounds on Monday.
Attendance was down, Friday, Aug. 30, when there were 24,848 visitors. That was off 815 persons, or about 3.2%, from the 2012 number of 25,663.
The record for Friday attendance was set in 2007 when 26,821 went through the gates.
Weather is always a big factor in attendance.
In 2012, the high temperatures, as recorded by the Archbold wastewater treatment plant ranged from 84 to 90 degrees the first four days of the fair. No rain was recorded.
This year, the wastewater plant recorded a high of 94 degrees on Friday, 88 on Saturday, 87 on Sunday, and 84 on Monday.
There was a brief rain shower Monday morning, but there looks to be good weather for the days ahead.
“Zero percent chance of rain and tolerable temperatures,” said Dennis Wyse, fair board president.
In his first year as president, Wyse said things are going well.
One complaint from last year’s fair was poor cellular telephone service.
For customers of Verizon, that problem was alleviated when the company parked a mobile cell site in the parking lot.
Wyse said locating the truck with a tall tower was a problem with the Federal Aviation Administration, because the Fulton County airport is near the fairgrounds.
Wyse said Verizon asked to move the site 100 yards to the east, “but that would have put it right at our front door.”
Eventually, the company was able to locate the site near the Gerald Grain Company elevator north of the fairgrounds, which was acceptable to both the FAA and the fair board.
However, Verizon had to set up portable generators to power the site, as opposed to power lines readied for the site by the board.
Interviewed Monday, Wyse said it was too early to tell, but early indications are that the fair was doing well financially.
Wyse said an official from Poor Jack’s Amusements, the company that provides carnival rides, reported Friday sales were ahead of the same night last year, “but that’s about the only one I’ve heard.”
Sunday night’s rock concert, which featured county high school students performing with the band Foreigner, was not quite a sell-out. Standing room was available.
Wyse said 1,300 people stood on the track between the grandstands and the infield stage.
When asked how he was doing in his first year as president, Wyse said, “It’s a chore.
“Carl (Buehrer, retired fair board president) and the others… I can’t take my hat off enough to those guys,” he said.