The new grandstand events brought out new people to the fair but the weather kept others away. This can be seen through out the fair with the overall grandstand and fair attendance.
The first night of the fair kicked off with the KHAK Free Concert at the Fair with David Nail. The opening program and concert were attended by about 1,700 people. Our largest crowd to date for our opening program and free concert.
Thursday of the fair is Youth Day, an opportunity for youth of all ages to come to the fair and enjoy the many free events and activities that are on hand. They get to experience a local county fair like no other. The main Youth Day events run from 9am to 1pm. With the high temperatures and heat advisory many of the normal daycares and camps cancelled their yearly trip to the fair. The heat continued through the day and contributed to our low attendance at the Pop Evil Concert as well. Thursday’s numbers were down by 25% from the previous year.
The excitement for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert held on Friday, June 29th was dampered by the storm that blew through the fairgrounds around 5:30pm that evening. The storm left a few small tents knocked down and wet fairgrounds. Crews worked to get the stage dried off to allow the concert to begin. With many help of volunteers the stage was dried and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took the stage at 8:35pm. They put on a great concert for an audience of over 1,500 that waited out the storm. Even with the storm and hot weather on Friday the daily attendance was up 10% from the previous year.
The heat didn’t stop the crowds from coming out to the fair over the weekend. Attendance records were broke on Saturday, June 30th of the fair even with the high temperatures. The Truck & Tractor Pull held at 7pm on Saturday of the fair blew away any previous recorded grandstand attendance records partly due to the new dates of the fair. The total attendance for the Truck & Tractor Pull was about 3,800. Previous record was set last year with the Saliva Concert with attendance of 1,800 for a grandstand event.
The record crowd for the Truck & Tractor Pull helped put another record in the history books with the daily attendance over 11,000 for Saturday. The previous record was set last year, Saturday of the fair with daily attendance at 8,700.
Crowds continued to come out on Sunday to see a rodeo at the fair for the first time (based on past records) even with the high temperatures. The rodeo brought in about 1,800 people to see what was Ridin’, Rockin’ & Livestockin’ at the fair this year.
The fair ended Monday, July 2nd with the annual Harness Races at the fair. There was a record number of horses on hand for the races, total of 66 horses. The fair normally averages about 20 horses every year for the annual races. The higher number of horses were part in due for early race date. This allowed some of the younger horses to race to get some training in at 5pm prior to the races officially starting at 6:30pm. Not only were there more horses but there were more people that came to see the races. The attendance for the Harness Races were up by 50% from the previous year.
By the end of fair with the roller coaster of weather and attendance the 2012 Linn County Fair overall attendance was up 10% from the previous year, another breaking record on the books. The over all attendance was 38,000 for the week of the fair, a success fair in the history books! Special thanks to the many volunteers that helped with the fair. With out their continuous support and dedication to The Linn County Fair we would not be able to provide a great local county fair for our community.
Next year will be a special fair as The Linn County Fair celebrates 125 years.