Fair attendance sees rise this year

WARREN – Attendance at Trumbull County Fair was up 3.6 percent over last year, despite a literal washout on its second day.

Numbers released Monday show that 44,547 paid to enter the annual agricultural exhibition in Bazetta this year, compared to 42,918 in 2012.

Heavy rain hurt attendance figures Wednesday, when only 875 came through the gates. Otherwise, daily attendance figures were up.

”Every day was over last year but Wednesday,” said Tom Sawyer, fair board president.

A large thunderstorm that rolled through Trumbull County Wednesday afternoon dropped several inches of rain, causing one of the bigger attractions, the late-model dirt automobile race, to be postponed until Sunday and ultimately the fair to close.

In comparison, the paid gate for Wednesday in 2012 was 8,645.

Sawyer attributed the better fortune to better weather. Although this year featured days that were hot and humid, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the string of sweltering days in 2012.

In his 34 years on the fair board, Sawyer said temperatures last year were ”probably the worst I have seen. People were getting sick, we had electrical problems.”

Postponing the auto race caused the demolition derby Sunday to be delayed by about two hours, but people didn’t seem to mind waiting. In fact, Sawyer said, the grandstand was at its 5,000-seat capacity and people were standing where they could find room.

He said the people ”seemed congenial.”

”It’s pretty hard to run two things when you are trying to get the track ready for this and then get the track ready for that,” Sawyer said of preparing the grounds for the automobile race first then the demolition derby.

Sunday drew the most people through the gates, 12,449, followed closely by Saturday, 12,224.