Attendance tops 1 million at NC State Fair

October 24, 2011 10:43:37 AM PDT
More than 1 million people visited the North Carolina State Fair, for the second year in a row.

The fair said Monday that attendance for the 2011 edition of the fair totaled 1,009,173. That's second only to last year's 1,091,887.

State Agriculture Commissioner says he's pleased with the attendance figures, given the economy.

Vendors say many people attending the fair cut back on how much they spent.

"It's a little off, wasn't much," vendor Buddy Love said. "I don't know if it was the vendors doing the same thing we're doing or it was the economy," he said.

Food Lion Hunger Relief Day on Oct. 20, was also successful, as preliminary estimates show that fair patrons brought in more than 234,000 pounds of canned food to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

The fair played host to a variety of musical acts, including country music legend George Jones, Christian rockers Skillet, R&B icon Dionne Warwick and North Carolina's own Kellie Pickler.

The Village of Yesteryear, which features crafters and artisans from across the state, marked its 60th anniversary at the State Fair.

"I cannot thank fairgoers enough for their continued support," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said. "I hope they're already marking their calendars for Oct. 12-22, 2012. I know we're eager to start planning for it."

Until then, people in charge at the fairgrounds say there are lost and found items -- cellphones, wallets, sunglasses and keys -- that can be picked up now.

"If people have lost something we would encourage them to call the state fair office, or they can come by, take a look and see if it's there," Brian Long with the State Fair said.

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