Weather blamed for 2nd straight year of State Fair attendance drops

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. Attendance for the 2019 Nebraska State Fair dropped by about 10% from 2018’s numbers, and about 25% from 2017, according to numbers released Friday afternoon.

283,468 people attended during the 11 days. It was the second straight year that the attendance saw a significant decline. Attendance in 2018 was 314,805. Attendance in 2017 was 379,108.

The attendance downturn is being blamed on a second straight year of rainy weather. Heavy rainfall this year caused some flooding on the grounds, and rendered the Fair’s regular parking lots unusable. Guests had to be shuttled from off-site locations. There was at least some rainfall on 7 of the 11 fair days.

The fair’s largest attendance day this year saw 50,232 guests, an increase from 2018’s busiest day of 43,992. Sponsorship revenue and concert attendance saw significant increases.

The most popular concert was Little Big Town, who drew a crowd of 4,875.

The State Fair was held in Grand Island August 23rd through September 2nd. Next year’s fair will run August 28th through September 7th.

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