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Kentucky State Fair Attendance Increases 2.6 Percent

The just-concluded Kentucky State Fair drew 615,648 paid patrons this year—a 2.6-percent increase from 2012.It's the largest number of attendees since 621,795 turned out in 2009.“Certainly the weather had a lot to do with it. After all this is not your typical August weather. We had cool mornings, we had very low humidity, very little rain," said Amanda Storment, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky State Fair Board.Attendance increased on both weekends, fair officials said. Here are past numbers for total attendance,for context.

  • 2004       637,327
  • 2005       629,740
  • 2006       614,477
  • 2007       589,364
  • 2008       586,106
  • 2009       621,795
  • 2010       602,897
  • 2011       605,565
  • 2012       599,854

This year's 11-day fair included a few changes, including thenon-use of the grandstands at old Cardinal Stadium because of structural concerns and free and reduced parking for people who were willing to leave their vehicles further away from the fair action.The free concerts on the turf of old Cardinal Stadium drew "capacity" crowds, fair officials said. (For example, about 15,000 for country act Montgomery Gentry.) No precise numbers were available for how many motorists parked where.Both changes garnered positive feedback, fair officials said.“I think everyone internally has decided that that parking plan was so well received that we want to continue that next year," Storment said. "We’ll talk about tweaks if we—need to do any kind of fine-tuning of that.”The fair board is considering a campus master plan to help decide what to do with old Cardinal Stadium.

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.