LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 29, 2013) — Further solidifying its place on the Kentucky event calendar, more than 615,000 visitors traveled to the Kentucky Exposition Center this August to compete, enjoy and entertain at the commonwealth’s largest summertime attraction.
The 109th Kentucky State Fair drew 615,648 visitors through the gates, up slightly from last year. The fair has welcomed more than 6,000,000 attendees over the past ten years. Both weekends had spikes in attendance, including the last day that saw 9,000 more fairgoers than last year.
“We celebrated 11 days of Kentucky music, culture, agriculture and entertainment, and the response we heard was tremendous,” said Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe. “We introduced some positive changes to the Fair this year and heard encouraging feedback to build on.”
Among the changes, the new weekend parking plan, which included free parking at neighboring Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, created options for fair-goers to park and lessened the weekend parking congestion.
“The new parking plan worked as smoothly as we hoped,” said Rippetoe. “People who used it raved about it and we saw a marked difference in weekend traffic flow.”
The updated Turf Concert Series in Cardinal Stadium drew capacity crowds in its first year with seats on the field. The outdoor stadium held more than 12,000 fairgoers during the Casting Crowns concert on Monday, Aug. 19 and more than 15,000 fans on Friday, Aug. 23 during the Montgomery Gentry concert.
In addition, 29 competitive entry departments brought in more than 46,000 entries, an increase of more than 2,000 from last year.
“The most valuable thing we can promote is the talent of our commonwealth and this year showcased some of the best we’ve ever seen,” said Rippetoe.
For a listing of all of the Kentucky State Fair’s blue ribbon winners or additional information about next year’s Fair, August 14-24, 2014, visit www.kystatefair.org.