Indiana State Fair attendance slips 8 percent

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The 2011 Indiana State Fair drew 872,312 visitors, down 8 percent from the 952,020 that attended in 2010, the fair announced Monday, citing preliminary figures.

Sunday, the final day of the 16-day event, saw a crowd of 52,335.

Officials had hoped attendance for this year's fair would hit 1 million for the first time, but a concert stage collapse on Aug. 13 that took the lives of seven people and injured dozens of others, also took a toll on attendance.

The fair closed the Sunday after the tragedy on a day expected to bring about 60,000 visitors through the gates. Attendance was down for several days after the fair reopened.

Several big concerts and events were canceled due the tragedy, also costing attendance.

Still, per-day attendance wasn’t far off last year’s pace. The 2010 fair, which ran 17 days, averaged 56,001 visitors per day. This year’s fair averaged 54,519 per day.

Revenue for this year’s fair also is expected to shrink due to canceled events and to promotions that offered free admission on some days in a late effort to boost attendance.

Next year’s fair, scheduled for Aug. 3-19, will be themed the “Year of Dairy Cows,” fair officials revealed Sunday.



  • Rants and raves
    This comment board looks a bit like the rants and raves on CL. I like that the IBJ took time to retort to REF's comments. I hope there are NOT more readers like this one. What a schmoe. Remember IBJ, never argue with idiots. On lookers will have trouble deciding which one is the idiot.
    Also - the AntiGOP kills me. I'm one of them, because we can't all be on welfare. Some people need to work to pay for the rest of you. You could at least be thankful you get an unemployment check. Enjoy it. And smile a little. And maybe thank the hard working GOP. I'm not mad at you, but that is my money you're refusing to spend on the fair.
  • Fair
    I agree you shouldn't blow your unemployment on the fair.
  • Were Are The Minority
    If it something that effects me, family, and friends, and collegues I read it. The state fair was a big deal for all of us. First, there were another error in your article. The fair being 16 days, the fair was 17 days. It is just you and 99% of the city believe it is 16 days. Just because one day was canceled, does not mean that day isn't part of the fair. Yes, maybe all of the general public was not there. But, the rides; the concession stands; the animal care givers; the workers; etc, there were still part of the fair. And, just because they cannot count that day for attendance, does not mean it is not part of the fair. So, if I got a fruit basket of 16 apples and 1 orange = 17, and I take out the orange (left with 16 apples), does that still not make it a fruit basket? The point here is how you people think. Yes, I realize you and the other media and 99% of the people are the majority, but that does not mean we, the minority cannot get a few words in edgewise. Thanks for correcting the next year's State Fair Dates. I hope there are more readers like me out there.


  • Always?
    1st, the fair was 16 days, not 17. Fair officials canceled the Sunday after the stage collapse, as the article points out.
    2nd, not sure what you're arguing here. The article points out that attendance would have been better without the tragedy.
    3rd, we did make a typo on the end date of next year's fair. We've corrected it from 9 to 19. We apologize for the error and thank you for pointing it out to us.
    Thank you for reading,
  • What a negative person
    Basically, all I got to say to you is: when you think negative, you get negative. The fair is still a family time event, it is not meant for negative people like you. It is meant for positive people who think positive and positive families who enjoy the fair. There were a lot of values in this year's fair, they sold a coupon book for $5.00 and it has over $100.00 in savings coupons. You are doing the right thing (staying away from the fair)...and I thank you for that!
  • Your correct
    I didn't even look for free coupons this year, like said above i quit going, even if I could get in free I am not going!

    So I don't know if they printed them or not. But I have noticed when it comes to the local news media "promotion" is key.

    from what I have noticed facts usually take a second position when it comes to shaping the minds of the consumers.
  • Why I stoped going to the fair
    I quit going to the Indiana State Fair 3 years ago. It hasn't changed in 30 years. the cost is to high, the weather is to hot, and it is located in bad area area of town.

    It used to be fun but like everything else it has just become a huge promotion of right wing idealism.

    We here in Indianapolis call it the "white expo" and I am white but the term is meant more for the "right wing values of today's GOP".

    The "celebrities" that come have all been screened to insure no one says anything that could be seen as "liberal" minded, and anything that is said about the corporate ruin of Americas economy is considered liberal these days.

    The sooner the mega rich learn they cant make money from people who have lost there jobs so the rich can seek lower cost of labor in 3rd world countries the sooner people may have the money to spend on the fair.

    With that said The fair on its own needs to upgrade, it needs to be moved to a better location, better parking and lower prices on food and activities.

    Why should I spend my unemployment money just to be held hostage in the fair grounds to $12 hamburgers and $5 small Cokes? It is worse then going to the movies! Then to go out to my car to find it has been broken into by the local poor who are stealing car stereo's to pawn so they can feed there kids, or well to be realistic many feed there drug habits as well.

    Would be nice to have air conditioning in more then 1 building!

    • Wrong Info
      As always, you got your information wrong. 1st - the event is 17 days and not 16 days / 2nd - The fair would of hit 1 million if A) the tragedy did not happen and B) if in the 2nd week (like the first week), a free coupon would have been published in the Indy Star (just like last year's week 1 and week, and week and C) if all the concerts and other events would taken place. 3rd - next year's fair is Aug. 3rd to Aug. 19 and not Aug. 3-9. You guys should be held to a higher standard in printing your info.

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