Alabama National Fair attendance on an upswing

Posted by Samuel King - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama National Fair is on a roll as it heads into the final three days. Organizers say attendance is up 30 percent.  Those enjoying the fair Thursday night weren't surprised by that news.

"It's absolutely wonderful, no rain yet, and it usually rains during the fair time," said Maxine Harvey, who brought her granddaughter to the fair.  "This is great."

And organizers believe it was the rain that kept the crowds away last year.   Attendance was down 22%.  This year, 72,000 people have already passed through the gates, and a second big weekend of crowds is expected.

"The weather's the biggest difference in any fair," said Randy Stephenson, General Manager of the Alabama National Fair.  "When you're having the great weather we're having right now, it gets people the opportunity to come out and enjoy the family fun."

The attendance numbers up despite the continued sluggishness of the economy.

"I cut back, I out five dollars here or there, because I know it's coming," Maxine Harvey said.  "It's like saving for Christmas, because the kids look forward to it and that's one of the things I can do for them."

"I mean it's fairly expensive, it's eight bucks to get in, 20 dollars for a wristband and 10 bucks to eat," said Chad Ellis, who has attended the fair twice this year.  "It's still a good time though, you just have to save up for it."

And the more turkey legs people purchase, the more rides they enjoy, the more games they play, that much more money goes to area charities.   The fair runs through October 17th.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.