Planning for the 2014 North?Dakota State Fair is already under way, but there is time to pause and reflect on the success of the 2013 event.
The 2013 fair set an attendance record, with 320,485 people coming through gates, up from the previous record of 310,889 people set in 2012. Fair officials also noted that grandstand attendance did well, with the top draws being Toby Keith (14,142 tickets), Tim McGraw (13,074) and Journey (9,796). The competitive exhibits also brought thousands of entrants, as did auto racing events and rodeos.
Last week's fair also benefitted from good weather. The McGraw concert was delayed by rain, but the cooler than usual temperatures made spending a day at the fairgrounds easier than typical hot July temperatures.
The 2013 fair's attendance record shows that the event continues to be popular around the state and around the region. Now the challenge for the State Fair staff is to keep the fair fresh and new every year, while maintaining the event's links to its roots. It's a big task, one that fair officials are no doubt already working on for the 2014 fair.