If more than 39,138 people visit the State Fair Monday, we’ll have a new all-time record for attendance.
Going into Labor Day – the final day of the fair’s 12-day run – more than 1.75 million people had come through the gates, according to State Fair figures.
That includes a weekend of records or near-records: Friday’s attendance was an all-time high for the day, and Saturday then set the mark for highest attendance in a single day ever. That was followed up by 233,303 people attending Sunday – the second-highest tally for that day in the fair’s history.
Very close to an all-time record
After 11 days, the State Fair had welcomed in a total of 1,785,692 people.
The record for attendance during a single year was set in 2014, when it reached 1,824,830 fairgoers.
Do a little bit of math, and you’ll see going into the final Monday the State Fair needed just 39,139 people to come in order to break the all-time record.
For some context, over the past three years the fair has averaged about 167,000 visitors on Labor Day.
While they don’t like to speculate about attendance figures, State Fair spokesperson Brienna Schuette told BringMeTheNews the record is “most certainly within reach.”
They’re up 185,00 people compared with this time last year, and that’s “a full day, I mean that’s a good day,” she said. “That exceeds attendance on a lot of days.”
Why is attendance so high?
Schuette said there are two big reasons she thinks attendance has been so high in 2016.
“We really couldn’t have asked for a better stretch of perfect fair weather in 12 days,” Schuette said. “Even when we have had rain, it’s been convenient rain, so to speak.”
But there’s also the idea of the State Fair as a place for healing and getting to know your neighbors, at a time when the news has often been difficult.
“There’s a lot going on in the world, and i think people always come back to the fair as something that’s comfortable, and just sort of have a need for tradition and experiences like this that are so positive, when things outside the gates aren’t so great,” she said.