SALEM (WSLS 10) -- Despite a downpour on the final night, The Salem Fair proved to be another success.
According to city leaders, an estimated 323,000 people attended this year's edition of the 12-day fair. Opening night attendance was the highest in its 28-year history, but for the seventh year in a row the fair did not set a new overall attendance mark.
"We had another fantastic two weeks," says Carey Harveycutter, Salem Fair Manager. "Our attendance was down about five percent compared to last year, but considering the number of rainy days and nights we had, we are thrilled."
Lower participation numbers didn't hurt the fair's food drive for the Salem Food Pantry. Fairgoers contributed 10,300 pounds of non-perishable food items to help the non-profit organization.
Blue Ribbon participation was also up this year. Creative arts and horticulture exhibits were up 17 percent as more than 3,400 individual exhibits from 951 exhibitors were on display inside the Salem Civic Center.