Good weather helped the Georgia National Fair draw a record crowd this year.
The 11-day fair ended Sunday with a total attendance of 536,840, according to a release. That was a 7 percent increase over last year’s attendance — also a record — of 501,528.
Oct. 15, a Saturday, drew a single-day record crowd of 93,000.
Although Hurricane Matthew was blowing off the coast during the fair, weather in Perry was good.
“We were blessed with beautiful weather here in Perry, despite the weather that hit our coastal counties and neighbors,” Stephen Shimp, the fairgrounds director, said in the statement.
The fair coincided with the fall break schedule of several school systems, he said, which allowed many students and their families to attend.
Foster Rhodes, vice chairman of the Georgia Agricultural Exposition Authority, said there were some people at the fair who had fled the hurricane’s path. Some evacuees were staying in RV camps in the area, he said, and came to the fair.
“We celebrate Georgia during the fair,” Shimp said. “We want to make sure we showcase all that is great about the state of Georgia. From our youth participating in agriculture competitions to our dynamic family entertainment, we are all about tradition and quality of life in Georgia.”
The fair had a new concert stage this year with more room for the crowd, and a fifth free concert was added.