The Missouri State Fair reported increased attendance for the 2016 Fair, as announced by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this week.
According to information from Nixon’s office, 356,153 fairgoers visited the 2016 Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, an increase of more than 4,000.
“For more than 100 years, the Missouri State Fair has been the state’s premier agricultural showcase, and once again Fair Director (Mark) Wolfe and Agricultural Director (Richard) Fordyce put on a great event, bringing hundreds of thousands of fairgoers to Sedalia to see the best that Missouri farmers have to offer,” Nixon said in a news release. “Across the country, many state fairs have moved away from their agricultural roots. But here in Missouri, we’ve stuck by our No. 1 industry, and the results have been outstanding. I appreciate everyone who helped make the 2016 Missouri State Fair a tremendous success.”
“I am extremely pleased with attendance this year,” Wolfe said in the release. “We had a great Fair, and I’m proud that so many Missourians continue to see the State Fair as a destination for their families each August. Statistics from fairgoer surveys indicate that more than 65 percent of State Fair guests attend the Fair because it is a tradition for their family.”
This year, the Fair saw more than 30,000 livestock and competitive entries and involved more than 3,200 Missouri 4-H and FFA youth participants, according to Fordyce.
“The State Fair provides opportunities for agriculturalists of all ages to shine and tell the story of Missouri agriculture,” Fordyce said. “It’s a chance to see young people in agriculture grow in the industry and gain leadership experience.”
Mild weather, an “outstanding” agriculture showcase, family-friendly attractions, special events and more helped contribute to the success of this year’s event, the release states. The carnival midway experienced four days of record sales, and special celebrations and commemorative activities hosted during the Fair attracted diverse crowds, according to the release.
The Opening Day Parade included more than 100 units in a procession along Missouri State Fair Boulevard. Military Appreciation Day was celebrated Aug. 14 and attracted record-breaking front-gate sales with more than 43,000 people on the fairgrounds, including military men and women and their families. The 64th annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast was hosted Aug. 18 with a sold-out crowd.
Aug. 20 was Youth in Agriculture Day. The Sale of Champions auction set a record of $157,350, with proceeds from the sale benefiting the exhibitors and Youth in Agriculture scholarships. Lady Antebellum with opener Kelsea Ballerini took the Pepsi Grandstand stage that evening in the highest attended concert of 2016.
The 2017 Fair will be hosted Aug. 10-20 in Sedalia. For more information about the 2017 Fair, visit www.mostatefair.com, follow the Fair on Facebook and Twitter, or call 1-800-422-FAIR (3247).