Nearly 450,000 attend Georgia National Fair

awoolen@macon.comOctober 14, 2013 

This year’s Georgia National Fair drew nearly 450,000 visitors, the second highest attendance in its history.

The final tally for the 24th national fair, which concluded Sunday, was 449,885, an increase of 4,490 people over last year, said Michele Treptow, director of communications at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry. The record was set in 2010 when the attendance was 465,053.

Treptow said Monday the increase in attendance this year was largely due to “the fair itself.” With a variety of offerings as well as 11 days to be able to attend, people responded to the mostly clear weather.

Despite having some rain the evening of Oct. 6 and into Oct. 7, the fair had record-setting days Oct. 8 and Oct. 10. The Oct. 8 date was helped in part by reduced admission prices, armbands and a free outdoor concert. The seating for 1,000 was full and concert-goers stood next to the clock tower and around the outside of Reaves Arena to watch.

“It was packed,” Treptow said.

Also, military members were treated to free attendance Oct. 7-8, and Treptow said the number of military attendees increased as well.

The paid concert attendance was 5,339 for Hunter Hayes on the first weekend and 4,258 for Justin Moore on the second weekend. Reaves Arena, where the concerts were performed, seats 8,000.

The Georgia Grown building, dedicated to promoting agriculture in Georgia, was also a factor, Treptow said. Sales from the store inside the building far exceeded last year’s, but specific numbers weren’t available Monday.

“The store did very well,” Treptow said.

Revenue numbers won’t be available until the November meeting for the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority.

The second weekend seemed to do well, and Treptow remarked traffic on Saturday was backed up onto the interstate with people who were trying to get into the fair.

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