Attendance up at the Rowan County Fair
By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY – Attendance at the county fair bounced back this year after a 30 percent drop in 2011.
Fair Manager Johnny Love said although attendance to the 61st Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair grew, it’s still lower than the nearly 32,000 from 2010. A total of 22,000 turned out last year.
“We had good weather all week in 2010,” he said. “Last year it rained every night. This year we had rain Monday, Tuesday and then Saturday evening halfway through the night.”
Love said Sunday it will take several days to compile this year’s figures. Barn director David Correll said this year’s fair had a record-breaking number of entries in the dairy cattle show with 152 entries.
The dairy goat show held Friday was a first for the fair. Correll said the event was added to the schedule due to popular demand in order to get more youth involved.
Pig racing, which has been absent from the fair for the past few years, returned this year with Circle C holding two races each weeknight and three races Saturday.
The fair wrapped up Saturday after six days of exhilarating rides and tasty eats.
This was the first year the Rowan County Fair Association, which manages the fair, has owned the fairgrounds.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners agreed in August to sell 25 acres of the fairgrounds to the association for $500,000. The whole property, which totals about 50 acres, has been appraised at $1.3 million.
The fair association has been renting the fairgrounds from the county for $25,000 per year.
Love said now that the association owns the property they can afford to make some needed repairs and renovations on the building.
“We can get things done that have been put off for the past 10 years,” he said.
Love said the fairground are open for rentals. Events can be booked by calling Randall Bargar at 704-640-2326.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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