Indiana State Fair attendance slips 8 percent

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.


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