53ºF

Salem Fair attendance estimates tracking higher

SALEM (WSLS 10) -  The Salem Fair runs through Sunday, July 10th.  Fair manager Carey Harveycutter says so far attendance numbers are tracking higher through the latest update July 4th.

Having a 4th of July on a weekday helps with numbers because people often extend their weekends or have the day off. Harveycutter says this fair is unique and hard to compare to other fairs because of the floating July 4th holiday. "You can't compare the first Saturday to the first Saturday in previous years," he points out as an example.

Average attendance is between 250,000 - 350,000.  Weather also plays a big factor in attendance. The year of the derecho in 2012 was the worst year ever because many people didn't have electricity and were spending money to eat out and replace groceries.

One of the better years it rained five days and they were able to collect rain insurance. But rain can hurt attendance numbers because people won't come out if it is raining at home when it may not actually be raining at the fair.  The timing of the rain also is important. Rain at 9:30 or 10 a.m. won't affect numbers like rain at 4:30 p.m. when gates are opening. Although they don't get official numbers until the fair is over Harveycutter is expecting the numbers to be good.

This is the 29th year of the Salem Fair.