Central Washington State Fair ends on a high note
YAKIMA, Wash.- Empty parking lots, folded up carnival rides, and fair vendors loading up their vehicles ... All signs of the end of this year's Central Washington State Fair.
But for just over a week the fair hit the ground running with fair leaders hoping to draw more and more people in with food, exhibits, and shows.
This year though, the numbers showed a drop in attendance, seeing around 312,000 fairgoers compared to 320,000 thousand last year.
So what happened?
"Last year was a banner year, so maybe people just feel like well once every couple years we'll do to the fair," said Central Washington State Fair’s President, Greg Stewart.
Stewart says they can't be for sure what really caused the decrease. There are a few things they are looking to improve though, such as their promotions to boost slow traffic weekdays.
"We may need to tweak them to make them a little bit stronger, uh they've worked in the past but we didn't get the response this year as we have in the past," said Stewart.
Fair vendors expressed the same critique but also said it's the nature of the business.
"Everybody's out working, like trying to make a living, so yeah, you expect that on the weekdays," said owner of Anderson’s Glass, Gordon Anderson.
Despite slow weekdays, the weekends made up for it, breaking record attendance last Saturday.
"Saturday was, it blew the doors off, i mean we had the largest crowd ever on these fair grounds, almost 60,000 people,” said Stewart.
And the Anderson's overall fair ranking?
“I'd give them a 9.5 not a perfect 10,” Anderson said laughing.
The Andersons said they've been coming to the fair for 25 years and plan on returning again next year, always pleased with their experience.
While there was a slight decrease in this year's attendance, fair officials say they still count this year as a success and they're already looking forward to next year when the fair will celebrate 125 years.