Fair attendance sky-rockets from ’10

Published 9:11 am Monday, August 15, 2011

Night falls as people enjoy the midway Saturday night at the Mower County Fair. -- Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The 2011 Mower County Fair was a bit of a comeback story.

Good weather and an almost week-long schedule helped more than 80,000 people attend the fair, according to Ken Trom, one of the fair directors.

“It was a good fair,” Trom said. “The weather couldn’t have been better.”

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By Saturday afternoon, fair director Larry Rasch said attendance estimates had already surpassed the 60,000 attendance from 2010.

“We’ve already exceeded our attendance for last year,” Rasch said Saturday afternoon.

Organizers were pleased with the increased showing.

“This year you’re seeing a lot more people who are coming and enjoying the fair,” Rasch said.

“We’ve had a great attendance,” he added.

The rebound in attendance came after hot, humid weather kept people from attending in 2010.

“People didn’t come to the fair last year unless they had a reason to be here,” Rasch said.

Weather can dictate the outcome of a fair, regardless of the planning and events, Rasch said.

“One of the main barometers on a fair is the weather,” he said.

This year, weather remained comfortably in the 70s and 80s with some rain Friday night and Saturday. While weather canceled a tractor pull Saturday morning, Rasch said the rain came at a convenient time because it was early in the day, which isn’t a traditionally busy time.

“It came at the right time,” he said.

“The weather has been great,” he added. “The rains overnight really were needed, especially by everyone. It sort of cleans and freshens things up.”

Rasch also said the exhibitors, vendors and midway officials were all pleased with this year’s turnout.