State Fair sets records

The recent run of the North Dakota State Fair was another record setter.

According to attendance figures reported by the fair officials, 320,485 patrons paid to attend this year’s fair. That is an increase of 9,646 over the previous attendance record set in 2012.

Attendance is compiled from advance sales and sales at fair entrances.

Cooler than normal temperatures throughout much of the fair, July 19-27, made is easier for fair goers to enjoy the fairgrounds without enduring hot weather that often occurs in late July. Renae Korslien, general manager, said she thinks the cooler weather proved to be a benefit for fair visitors.

“The fair was wonderful. I think the cooler weather made us all not get so wore out so fast,” said Korslien. “What I heard often is, ‘isn’t the weather beautiful?'”

Another plus for the fair, said Korslien, is the continued emphasis on agriculture. Fair displays annually feature extensive exhibits by 4-H members, Future Farmers of America, livestock and machinery.

“That’s a solid staple for us,” said Korslien. “Our heart truly is about agriculture and agricultural education.”

Korslien also said the fair’s emphasis on youth was an important ingredient to a successful fair. She noted the enthusiasm surrounding youth livestock exhibits, Marketplace for Kids, the carnival rides and the food courts.

“We were watching them enjoy themselves,” said Korslien. “We always ask were the people happy? Did we have what they wanted to see? How many kids were in the sandbox? How many were playing 3-on-3 basketball? All are a measurement of the fair.”

According to Korslien, each aspect of the fair will be re-evaulated in the coming days to determine if changes should be made.

“We will try and tweak things and make things better,” said Korslien. “We started looking at 2014 entertainment six months ago. Soon we’ll be looking at the free stages too.”

The 2014 N.D. State Fair is scheduled for July 18-26.