LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky State Fair attracted 564,937 visitors during its recent 11-day run, a number fair officials called "the most accurate in the fair's history, thanks to improved software and automated scanners at entrance gates."
Good weather and large crowds on Military Day and Senior Day are credited for the figure, although it doesn't top last year's official tally of 601,672 fairgoers. The rain-soaked 2014 fair attracted 515,937 attendees.
"Our goal is to attract more people to the Kentucky State Fair with lower prices and a higher quality of experience," Kentucky State Fair Board President Dr. Mark Lynn said. "Because of our robust sponsorship program, we were able to offer free admission to our military families and seniors on their respective days, and it paid off in noticeably large crowds on both of those days."
Lynn also said the more accurate attendance reports are critical to growing the state fair audience and building on the fairgoer experience in the future.
"The new scanners this year gave us numbers that are solid and reliable," Lynn said.
Fair officials said more fairgoers purchased advance gate admission and there was a sizeable increase in those who took advantage of free parking across from the main gate on both weekends of the fair.
The 4-H and FFA Sale of Champions held during the Fair raised $118,500; the champion country ham was auctioned off for $600,000 and the World's Championship Horse Show awarded $1.2 million in prizes and premiums.
The 113th Kentucky State Fair is scheduled for August 17 to 27, 2017.