It’s N.C. State Fair time again, and you may be wondering about how many people attend the fair every year. The folks that run the State Fair have a plethora of information on their website, including a history of the fair going back to 1853 and detailed attendance records for every year since 1986. This had me wondering how state fair attendance has grown in relation to the state’s population during that same time period. Here’s what I found:
Interestingly, it looks like attendance at the fair has trended consistently with state population growth at about 10 percent of the total. This chart shows total attendance for every day the fair is open, so it is possible that individuals attend more than once in a year. Attendance varies from year to year, of course, due to the weather and other factors.
More people attending the fair means more spending on rides, entertainment, and fried delicacies, as well as more people exposed to the agricultural bounty of the state. The State Fair is self-supported through the revenue it generates at the fair as well as by renting out fairground facilities throughout the year, so increased attendance should help it maintain its mission and serve a growing population for years to come.