Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe announced today an attendance of 366,218 at this year’s 11-day event. The figure reflects an increase of more than three percent from last year, and an upward trend in attendance since Wolfe assumed his position in 2009. This positive direction has had a ripple effect on the Fair’s revenue generating streams, including the campground and carnival operations, helping to put the State Fair on a more solid financial footing, Fair officials said.
“I am extremely pleased with attendance this year,” Wolfe said. “It is affirmation that many Missourians are making the State Fair an annual destination for their families, which is heart-warming. Maintaining the historical facility is a critical concern, so the impact that the strong attendance has on revenue is also fiscally encouraging.”
Beautiful weather, gate promotions and special celebrations helped to contribute to the success of this year’s State Fair, Wolfe said, including commemorative activities held on Opening Day, Military Appreciation Day and on Governor’s, Legislators’ and Judges’ Day. The theme for the 2013 Fair was “Chicks Dig It.”
The Fair held a dedication ceremony for its new MFA Youth Livestock Arena on the first day; this and other special opening day activities brought in a crowd of more than 44,500. The open-air warm-up facility was used by a variety of livestock shows during the August Fair, and will be used year round, serving as an additional source of revenue for the fairgrounds.
This year’s Military Appreciation Day set an attendance high, contributing to more than 42,000 people on the fairgrounds, including military service men and women and their families. “Our military ceremony keeps increasing in significance and attendance,” Wolfe said. “This year’s tribute was made to the Army and Air National Guard, and included three military motorcycle groups for a parade of approximately 150 bikes.”
Another highlight of the 2013 Missouri State Fair was the acknowledgement of women involved in our great state’s agriculture industry. All women were given free gate admission on Governor’s, Legislators’ and Judges’ Day, helping to set another record-high attendance, in recent years, of more than 29,000. Other noteworthy attendance numbers occurred on the Fair’s two Saturdays, together they topped 86,400.
The recent funding to upgrade the storm water management system on the fairgrounds will help to ensure the infrastructure is reliable for generations to come, Wolfe said. Missouri’s fair is an award-winning agriculture showcase for the state’s leading industry, with a year round rental operation that attracts more than 300,000 visitors to the campus and city of Sedalia, annually.
The 112th Missouri State Fair, themed “Harvest the Fun,” will be held Aug. 7-17 in Sedalia. For more information about the 2014 State Fair, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).