Carnivalwarehouse.com releases 2009 fair attendance figures and once again the Wilson County Fair, Lebanon, made the Top 50 North American Fairs list for 2009.
"Despite economic fears, North America’s Top 50 events had a solid year," said Matt Cook, president of carnivalwarehouse.com. In fact, the Top 50 North American Fairs drew 40,316,926 guests in 2009, a slight decrease of less than 1 percent from 2008.
In a year when economic woes were a major concern for North America's largest events, it turned out that an old enemy, the weather, was the major challenge in 2009.
The Illinois State Fair, Mississippi State Fair, Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition (Florida) California State Fair, Texas State Fair and Arizona State Fair all posted double digit declines in 2009, largely due to weather. Illinois, Texas and Mississippi were especially hampered by downpours and the Mississippi State Fair was even held over an additional day to try and gain some lost ground.
Wilson County Fair president, Hale Moss, said “While many fairs’ attendance suffered due to extreme heat or rain, the weatherman treated Wilson County Fair visitors and volunteers to nearly perfect weather this year. We appreciate everyone who helped make 2009 another record-breaking year. We are already in the planning stage of the Aug. 13-21, 2010’s fair.”
Twenty-nine of the top 50 fairs posted increases; leading the list for attendance increases was the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton, Calif., which had an increase of 21.5 percent, entering the list in the 41st position. The Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass., the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, B.C., the North Carolina State Fair, the Indiana State Fair and the York Fair (Pennsylvania) also posted double digit increases for 2009. The Wilson County Fair in Lebanon was next on the list with attendance of 505,434, an 8.4 percent increase.
The Wilson County Fair, which in 2009 celebrated “30 Years of Volunteers,” first made the Top 50 list in 2008. This year the Wilson County Fair climbs from 41st to 37th on the list. Falling from the list in 2009 were the Dutchess County Fair (New York), the Kern County Fair (California) and the Greeley Stampede in Colorado.
For a complete listing of the Top 50 North American Fairs, visit http://www.carnivalwarehouse.com/lists/2009top50.asp.