About 114,000 admission tickets were sold for the 173rd Lorain County Fair, according to fair board president Ron Pickworth.
Storms early in the week hampered attendance, he said. Paid admission was down about 1,000 from 2017 and roughly 4,500 from 2016.
The numbers do not reflect senior citizens and veterans who were given free entrance.
Blazing hot temperatures and menacing black clouds have a big impact on the fair, Pickworth said. While admissions were up on sunny days, it wasn’t enough to make up for Tuesday’s rain-out.
For the most part, the weather was beautiful and skies were blue. Temperatures were fairly steady in the high 70s and low 80s until Sunday, a 95-degree day with 90 percent humidity.
Perfect weather and no school would boost attendance, but “you live with what you get,” Pickworth said. Amherst welcomed students back Monday as the fair opened, drawing criticism from some parents on social media; Avon Lake, Clearview, Lorain, and Sheffield-Sheffield Lake all began classes during Fair Week as well.
Crowds grew larger at the Wellington fairgrounds after school and work hours and during big grandstand events like the truck and horse pulls.
Pickworth said fair board members were pleased with traffic in and out of the grounds. Every morning, directors meet with police officers and sheriff’s deputies to discuss how to relieve congestion and prevent back-ups.
New this year was Kid’s Day, filled with face painting, coloring and cake decorating contests, book giveaways, and a variety of booths featuring craft making and balloon artists. Pickworth said it was wonderful seeing so many little ones running around and the board plans to make it a repeat event.
He has no word on concession success, but our reporters overheard several vendors discussing improved sales this year.
The fair board has already started planning for next August and the 174th fair, Pickworth said. It is assigning committee duties and reviewing comments and concerns voiced by attendees.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 44-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.