Monday, June 17, 2024

Yes, that was a heck of a fair

Staff Writer | September 27, 2021 1:08 AM

The North Idaho State Fair shattered several records this year and found time to raise cash for charities.

In a meeting last week with the Kootenai County Commissioners, Fairgrounds General Manager Alexcia Jordan reported several stats from the 10-day extravaganza.

Part of the reason for extending the fair from five to 10 days was to spread out attendance to make it feel less “cramped,” Jordan said. In years past, she said, the event would see about 18,000 attendees per day.

This year that number was slightly lower, Jordan said, averaging 15,000 daily attendees — but set a record with nearly 155,000 total fairgoers. Positive feedback from the crowds left Jordan confident, and she said the fair board plans to move forward with another 10-day event in 2022.

“It was great to see people out and about with a smile on their face,” Jordan said.

This year hosted the largest livestock sale in North Idaho State Fair history, with 364 animals purchased by 118 buyers. With the added support of the Livestock Booster Club, Jordan said, the sale pulled in over $1.9 million. Commissioner Leslie Duncan pointed out the sales broke the previous record in 2020 by almost $100,000.

“That's a lot to be proud of there,” she said.

Of the 11 arena shows, one was free and the rest were ticketed events. All 10 ticketed events sold out prior to the day of, Jordan said.

All beer gardens at the North Idaho State Fair were run by volunteers. The tipped amount left by customers, which totaled about $29,000, is going will to nonprofits in the community, Jordan said.

“Around $200,000 are what area nonprofits who either work or are associated with the fair earn ... at the fair,” Jordan said. “Just another thing to be proud of.”

Other stats:

• Gross carnival revenue was approximately $727,000 and the fairgrounds keeps 35% — or about $250,000.

• $1.2 million in food sales, with $240,000 going back to the fairgrounds.