LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2012) — The Kentucky State Fair drew 599,854 people this year, down from last year’s count of 605,565 attendees. The 11-day event, billed as the showcase for Kentucky’s heritage, culture and agricultural roots, was conducted Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Harold Workman pointed to the first five days of the fair as high attendance days because Jefferson County Public Schools were not in session. “We encouraged families to enjoy the last days of summer vacation at the fair with deeper discounts on Thrillway rides, which was very well received,” he said.
Fair organizers deemed this year’s event a success with very few problems.
“With an event this size with all of its moving parts, this fair was one of the most successful, especially from an operations standpoint,” Workman said.
For the first time, the fair hosted a military day with gate and ride specials for active duty and veteran military and their families. An early arrival day with discount gate admission was also added this year.
Numbers were steady for agriculture entries in spite of the drought, and the 4-H and FFA Sale of Champions auction brought in its second highest sum in 33 years with $127,300.
Successes can be found in other facets of the 108th fair, including an increase in mammography screenings, and hearing and vision screenings in the Health Horizons area, and sold-out exhibitor and vendor space. School tour groups and the fair’s first Girl Scout weekend registered nearly 7,500 students.
The 11-day event generates about $16.5 million in economic impact across Kentucky.