“We didn’t expect this many people because of the weather,” said Rena Marshall, county fair manager and Lion’s Club president. “Some days really worked out.”
Tuesday, Friday and Saturday saw the majority of the crowds coming out to the fair, despite the colder temperatures and sporadic showers.
“Attendance was down about 40 percent this year,” Philip Bradley, admissions superintendent said. “Wednesday was a complete wash-out and Thursday was just miserable.”
On Friday, around 1,200 attended the fair and on Saturday saw approximately 1,800.
In all, around 5,000 people filled the fair grounds in Hamlet, according to Bradley.
People from surrounding counties, like Scotland, Anson and Moore, and some from South Carolina attended the fair, Bradley said.
The weather, flu illnesses and the fact the Richmond County fair and the North Carolina State Fair fell on the same week may have contributed to lower numbers, according to Bradley.
Also, due to the weather, some of the events were canceled, but next year should be back on track.
“But overall, we did pretty well,” Bradley said.
Coming up in January, members of the Lion’s Club and fair coordinators will be heading to the Raleigh-Durham area for a meeting with the State Fair Association to begin the preparations for next year’s fair.
For next year, the Lion’s Club may begin looking for other amusement companies for the county fair, since they have been with J&J Amusements for three years, according to Bradley.
“There are also some issues we need to resolve before next year,” Bradley said.
Several other amusement companies are looked at, some new and some used in the past.
“We also want to get more entertainment,” Bradley said. “People seemed to really like it.”
In addition, the Lion’s Club may be looking for more events like car shows and antique flea markets.
Although the final amount raised by the Lion’s Club the fair hasn’t been compiled yet, all of the proceeds go to charities and organizations, both local and international.
“Everyone did an excellent job of putting on the fair,” Bradley said.
n Staff writer Bryan Stewart can be reached at 997-3111 ext. 15, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org