Last day of the fair

RALEIGH But inside many of the booths lining the state fairgrounds, vendors were quietly smiling.

"This year's actually one of the best years we've had in a long time," said Dean West of North Carolina Fudge. "I think the economy...people probably didn't travel much this summer, and so they're spending their money late in the Fall."

West has set up shop in the same place at the state fair for the last 20 years, so he knows his numbers. And if the numbers are any indication, fairgoers were spending a lot. Four of the first nine days of the fair saw record-breaking attendance. And every day except last Sunday showed a year-to-year increase. For fairgoers, there's a simple explanation.

"It''s great! It's definitely gotten bigger. It's gotten a lot bigger," said Julie Stamey, who has attended the fair every year for the last 30 years.

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