Fewer people went to Central WA State Fair but those who did were super-hungry
YAKIMA, Wash. — They knew it’d be a tough task to hold such a large event – with masks – during a pandemic, but the folks behind the annual Central Washington State Fair are pretty proud of how things worked out.
Organizers figured there would be a drop in attendance, and there was, but they are playing up the positives after a 10-day run that wrapped Sunday, October 3.
CEO Kathy Kramer said, despite attendance being down 25% from 2019, the nonprofit behind the event achieved record-breaking sales numbers for the carnival and food.
(The fair was not held in 2020, and no specific financial figures regarding the record-breaking spending were released Wednesday.)
“We anticipated attendance would be down this year and truly didn’t know what to expect as we opened,” Kramer said. “We are pleased with the community’s support this year. Smaller crowds provided more room for people to spread out and they stayed longer.”
More than 204,000 guests did turn out, and there were three sold-out shows: Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, for King and Country, and Josh Turner.
The main-stage concert venue had floor seating and required a paid reserved concert ticket which included fair admission. The new format was a big hit, Kramer said, as was a new concert VIP experience.
“Our guests loved the new experience, and it literally was sold out for each show well in advance of the Fair opening.”
Kramer also touted a larger, upgraded Durand Arena located closer to the livestock barns.
“We had lots of traffic in all the livestock barns and fair goers especially liked seeing the two litters of baby piglets that were born during the Fair,” said Kramer.
The CEO said they had just over three months to produce the festival, which normally takes a year.
Kramer and other organizers are now making plans for State Fair Park’s next self-produced event, the 2nd Annual Holiday Light Fest.
The 2022 Central Washington State Fair is set to run September 23-October 3.
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