PERRY -- The National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Championships generated $358,200 in revenue for the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter for July.
The total was up 18 percent from the previous year, according to Agricenter Executive Director Randy Moore.
The horse show has “really been a godsend,” he said during the monthly meeting of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority.
Including the Southern States Triple Crown show earlier in the month, which netted $74,400 for the fairgrounds, July revenues came in at just under $580,000.
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Attendance for the world championships was estimated to be more than 57,000.
Last year, the barrel horse association brought with it 1,888 horses. This year the number was 2,066.
The show continues to grow, said Jim Floyd, agriculture and youth director for the fairgrounds. The barrel horse group estimates it will need an additional 550 stalls by 2016.
“I have no idea how we are going to house them, but we are,” Floyd said. During this year’s event, temporary stalls had to be rented to stall the horses that competed in the event.
July was a busy month for the fairgrounds, which attracted 75,000 visitors. The number is nearly double from last year, said Bob Irwin, the fairground’s chief operating officer.
The fairgrounds will submit its recommendations to the state Office of Planning and Budget for fiscal 2016. The capital projects are campus signage and wayfinding for $899,378 as well as an $893,728 entertainment pavilion and an equine expansion of $5.5 million.
The board unanimously approved the recommendations, which are due Sept. 1.
As summer winds down, officials noted the 25th Georgia National Fair will be in town in less than two months.
Preparations for the event are well underway with the fair brochure already printed and mailed.
New acts this year include the Rail Jam! Wakeboard Show, the Showboat Marionettes, Swashchucklers! Comedy Pirate Show and the Rubber Chicken Show.
The fair starts Oct. 2 with Sneak-A-Peek day and features a free concert of The Four Tops and The Grapevine.
Ticket sales for the two paid concerts, Lady Antebellum on Oct. 4 and Jennifer Nettles on Oct. 11, go on sale Saturday. Ticket prices are $50 and $40, respectively.
During the fair, two former members of the Atlanta Braves will be on hand to sign autographs: Javy Lopez, Oct. 6 from 5-7 p.m. and Ryan Klesko, Oct. 7 from 5-7 p.m.
The grand marshal for the fair’s parade will be Amanda Miliner, Georgia Teacher of the Year and former Miss Georgia.
Also at Wednesday’s meeting, officials said Corey Earwood, a 15-year-old from Flovilla, will sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will sing “God Bless America.” Both performances will be during the fair’s opening ceremonies Oct. 2.
Also at the opening ceremony, plaques will be given to three businesses that have been 25-year sponsors of the fair. Coca-Cola, Ford New Holland and Super Sod will all receive recognition.