LEWISBURG, WV (08/29/2012)(readMedia)– The 88th annual State Fair of West Virginia, themed “Memories that Grow…Year After Year,” proved to be a success, while providing thousands of great memories for fairgoers! “I think people needed to exhale and have fun!” stated Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Jolliffe. “It was a long challenging summer and we are grateful that people decided to celebrate the end of summer by visiting the fair. Good weather combined with a strong free entertainment program, and a popular grandstand concert series proved to be a winning combination.”
Final audited gate attendance is not available, however, attendance is projected between 185,000 and 190,000. Ticketed grandstand events drew over 25,000 with one sellout and one “near” sellout. Fairgoers boosted food sales by 3% setting another food gross record and the Reithoffer carnival midway saw a 1% increase in carnival revenue despite rain on opening day.
Several of the fair’s livestock competitions saw an increase in participation with cool temperatures making for pleasant conditions in the livestock facilities. The Junior 4-H and FFA livestock show featured over 420 exhibitors and over 1,000 head of livestock exhibits. The open show saw much of the same success with around 500 exhibitors and over 2,500 head of livestock. In the popular Dairy Birthing Center, 22 calves were born, giving fairgoers several opportunities to catch a live birth. Despite approximately 4,000 competitive exhibits that entered and displayed in the Home, Arts and Garden competitions, the dryer than normal summer lead to a decrease in horticulture exhibits.
Jolliffe states “The return of the circus was a huge hit with families. This family entertainment element combined with thousands of “teachable moments” about the story of agriculture make the State Fair relevant and magical! We are looking ahead to the 89th edition August 9-17, 2013 and to the many events and activities that will take place at our facility between now and next August.”
The State Fair of West Virginia, with an $13.8 million dollar economic impact on the State of West Virginia, is a 501 © 3 non-profit corporation committed to the traditions of agriculture, family entertainment, and education. For more information, please visit www.statefairofwv.com.