2021 NC State Fair's final days attract big crowds

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The final day at the North Carolina State Fair was looking like the busiest, with families flocking to traditional attractions Sunday.

With $20 parking fees charged by property owners close to the fairgrounds, people parked on roads approaching the fair and walked to the fair's entrance gates. Long lines formed there and elsewhere at the fair, with little social distancing by mostly bare-faced people.

"Yes," said fairgoer Wanda White. "So I've been wearing my mask the entire time. But I came out with a friend from work. So it was nice, and I really enjoyed it."

At least one food vendor displayed a sign notifying people that no outside food was allowed because of coronavirus concerns, a reminder that there's still a related health threat. That may have played a role in lower attendance numbers for the first few days at the fair.

"It has been down but today it's very crowded. Even coming in and as I was walking through," said White.

After that relatively slow start to the fair, the midway was bustling by midday Sunday.

"Oh, absolutely. We had about 126,000, a little over, yesterday," said fair manager Kent Yelverton. "We're up to about 720.000 total for the run. A great number, we're very excited about the turnout, Many of these vendors had no opportunity in 2020 for them to come out, and have this kind of crowd to sell to is a great thing."

He's counting on a big finish this year, while planning for the 2022 North Carolina State Fair.
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