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Conner Prairie attendance up slightly in 2011

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Attendance at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers increased slightly last year, due in part to the opening of its $4.4 million Civil War exhibit.

Visits to the park in 2011 increased nearly 2 percent from the previous year, to 218,063, Conner Prairie leaders announced Wednesday at their annual meeting.

Attendance in June alone jumped 23 percent from the same month in 2010. Leaders credited the park’s “1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana” exhibit, which opened during the month, for the increase.

Daytime attendance at Conner Prairie grew 3 percent, helped by 15-percent growth in member visits. Non-member visits in daytime hours fell 11 percent. Leaders attributed the decline to a wet spring and hot summer.

Conner Prairie this year plans to unveil improvements to its 1836 Prairietown feature, which opened in 1974. Buildings will be refurbished and programming added. A grand re-opening is set for June 9-10.

Park leaders said at the meeting that they’ll focus this year on growing the park's donor base. Giving and sponsorships on average make up 30 percent of museum revenue nationally, but just 5 percent of Conner Prairie’s revenue last year came from gifts, sponsorships and grants, leaders said.
 

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  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

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