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330,045 ‘take it all in’ at Clay County Fair

By Staff | Sep 28, 2015

SPENCER (CCF)- Sunny skies, smiling faces, and the largest final weekend in Fair history all combined to make a memorable 2015 edition of the Clay County Fair.

Total attendance topped 330,000 for only the second time in Fair history, while two single-day attendance records were set the final weekend – 65,468 on Saturday, and 30,931 on Sunday.

“Our goals each year are very simple – provide fairgoers with too much to do, give them unique experiences that can’t be found every day in northwest Iowa, and do it all in a safe, family atmosphere,” said CCF Manager Jeremy Parsons. “When you accomplish those goals and add in beautiful, almost perfect weather, you have a great fair.”

After the first three days, Jeremy Parsons, fair manager, said attendance was up an estimated 5,000, a 5 percent increase.

By day, attendance totaled as:

  • Sept. 12: 56,188.
  • Sept. 13: 60,262.
  • Sept. 14: 20,423.
  • Sept. 15: 16,124.
  • Sept. 16: 18,273.
  • Sept. 17: 26,268.
  • Sept. 18: 36,108.
  • Sept. 19: 65,468.
  • Sept. 20: 30,931.
  • Total: 330,045
  • 2014 attendance: 323,288.
  • 2013 attendance: 334,045, the record year.

Weather was completely dry throughout the Fair except for rain showers on Sept. 18, which forced the cancellation of the Arnold Motor Supply Shootout.

Despite the cancellation of the races, 25,295 fairgoers attended events in the U.S. Cellular Grandstand, including a sell-out crowd for Little Big Town on Sept. 20 (the first Grandstand sell-out since Alan Jackson in 2011).

Utilizing the fair as “Northwest Iowa’s Largest Classroom,” a record 1,250 third- and fourth-graders participated in ISU Extension Clay County’s Ag-Citing and Sci-Citing school field trip programs throughout the week.

Education about Iowa’s number one industry – agriculture – was center stage at Grandpa’s Barn, where fairgoers were educated through animals, crop plots and the new AgCab tractor and combine simulators.

The addition of a brand-new competition, the farm gadget show, allowed fairgoers to “take in” even more competitive exhibits at the 2015 Fair.

Thousands of exhibitors vied for blue ribbons, trophies, and more than $95,000 in premium money. Open-class livestock numbers increased over 2014, highlighted by the introduction of Rambouillet sheep and the North American Classic Series Single-Cart class in the draft horse competition.

Other new competitions included fairy gardens, cell phone photography, and 13 new creative culinary classes.

A new mark was also set in 4-H and FFA competitions with exhibitors from 46 counties in three states exhibiting as the Fair welcomed its first 4-H exhibitors from Nebraska. (Those numbers were up from last year’s record of 42 counties in two states).

More detailed information on the 2015 Clay County Fair will be made available at the Clay County Fair Association’s annual meeting on Oct. 27.

Lifetime memberships to the Fair Association are available for $100.

Call (712) 262-4740 for more information.

The 2016 Clay County Fair will be held Sept. 10-18 in Spencer.

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