The 150th Wright County Fair was held July 21-25 and, despite some extremely hot weather many of the days, Wright County Fair Board President Ward Westphal said the fair was a success and, despite taking a year off due to COVID-19, things went relatively smooth.
“It actually went quite well, especially considering that we were all a little rusty,” Westphal said. “Everything came off as expected. We had a really good turnout considering how hot it was for most of the fair, especially during the day Friday when we had a heat index of more than 100 degrees.”
The official fair attendance was 56,376 – higher than the pre-COVID numbers, which were in the low 50,000s in 2018 and 2019, but less than 2016-17 when the fair drew more than 60,000 in each year.
Westphal said the attendance numbers likely missed numerous youngsters, since they didn’t require tickets for the 150th Wright County Fair and with the hectic nature of the fair’s daily openings, many likely weren’t included in the count.
“That number may have been higher because all kids 17 and under got in free,” Westphal said. “We tried to include them in the attendance numbers, but I’m sure we missed a lot of them because it was all hands on deck at the ticket office getting people off the highway and getting them into the grounds.”
The most popular attractions included the aerial circus, the demolition derbies (both sold out) and both the Combine Derby and tractor pull – which each had record-setting crowds.
The grandstand show on Friday sold out a week before the fair thanks to advance ticket sales and the Sunday grandstand show sold out in advance during the fair.
As would be expected with strong attendance at many of the shows, revenues were up. Parking revenue was way up over previous years and beverage sales (water, soda, beer, etc.) were at record levels thanks in part to the heat.
Westphal deemed the fair a success, but added that work on the 2022 Wright County Fair is already underway.
“We were proud of our 150th fair and the positives that came out of it,” Westphal said. “We had our recap meeting (Aug. 2) and discussed what went well and what needs to be improved on. Pretty much once the fair ends, we start the preparation process for what will need to be done for the next year’s fair.”