Drop in fair turnout continues trend | SierraSun.com

Drop in fair turnout continues trend

George Boardman

John Hart/Sun News Service The Nevada County Fair, shown Saturday morning, saw a slimmer turnout this year. Organizers said they blame high temperatures and a declining number of children in the county.

GRASS VALLEY – The 4.6 percent drop in attendance at the 2004 Nevada County Fair continues a four-year trend that has seen turnout decline by more than 16,000 people.Fair CEO Ed Scofield said Wednesday that attendance at the five-day event that ended Sunday totaled 103,663, down from 108,672 in 2003.Temperatures averaged 96 during the first four days of the fair, about 8 degrees above normal, and Scofield said the intense heat was a factor in lower attendance.”It just kills us when it gets hot like that,” he said.

Scofield also noted that attendance of children declined from 10,503 in 2003 to 9,720 this year. “We know the number of children in the community is declining, and that has an impact,” he said.Attendance at the 2000 fair was an estimated 120,000 and has declined in three of the last four years, down to an estimated 110,000 in 2001 and 103,500 in 2002 before increasing last year.The price of gasoline may have also contributed to the drop in attendance this year.Almost 91 percent of the people attending the fair make a round trip of less than 100 miles, says to a study done in 2002.

Nevada County Fair figuresYearAttendance2000120,000*2001110,000*2002103,500

2003108,6722004103,663* EstimatedSources: The Union newspaper in western Nevada County archive; Nevada County Fair