While the 2013 State Fair will be remembered as a very wet fair, many successes were achieved during the 89th Annual event. Chief Executive Officer, Marlene Jolliffe stated, “Obviously five days of rain is going to impact attendance. The 2013 fair saw between 170,000 and 175,000 visitors which was a decrease from prior years, however, we have so many positive results to celebrate. From an operational standpoint we enjoyed one of the smoothest fairs ever and in many areas our numbers were strong. In our post-fair online survey, 67 percent of fairgoers rated their experience at the fair as above average or excellent!” Additional highlights include:
• 20,000 pounds of food were collected on Magic Monday and the food and cash donations were distributed to six area Food Banks.
• 19,940 Concert Tickets were sold with Casting Crowns being the top seller.
• $20,000 in funds will go to the State Fair Endowment as a result of volunteer efforts to sell cookies, the new Gold Lot parking project, Fun First Fundraiser, the sale of milk from the dairy milking parlor and corporate partners.
• Since 2007, over $140,000 in college scholarships have been awarded to youth exhibitors.
• 183,890 unique visitors used the website and had 676,250 page views.
• Facebook likes grew 51 percent to 25,757.
• Fair food, Family Fun and Tradition were listed as the top three reasons for attending.
• Fair Food, Safety, Educational Opportunities, Competitive Exhibits, Cleanliness, Carnival Rides, Grounds Entertainment, Restrooms, Parking and Concerts were rated above average or excellent.
• Over 2,000 exhibitors entered livestock, 4-H/FFA or home arts and garden competitions with an estimated 4,000 entries. $175,000 in award premiums were paid to winning exhibitors.
“Our 90th anniversary celebration will be Aug. 8-16, 2014, and I can guarantee that fairgoers will be excited when they see the changes that are in store for next year!” said Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe, CEO.
The State Fair of West Virginia, with a $13.8 million economic impact on the state of West Virginia, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation committed to the traditions of agriculture, family entertainment and education. For more information, please visit www.statefairofwv.com, or follow fair events on Facebook and Twitter.