Attendance was down slightly, but revenue was up. About 242,000 people frolicked at the fair this year, down about 5 percent from 2012 (which was up 3 percent over 2011). Revenue rose about 10 percent, but final numbers arent available.
What drove revenue up? Gate prices increased $1 this year (from $7 to $8 for adults), the first increase in seven years, fair officials say. Carnival, food and beverage revenue was also up. Butler Carnival had record sales, grossing just more than $1.8 million (a new water ride this year may have helped).
Attendance was light for grandstand act The Guess Who, so that may have contributed to the slight downturn (Foreigner and Brantley Gilbert each drew 9,000). Regional fires that forced community evacuations during the fair may have contributed to less fair coverage.
Weather wasnt much of a factor. It was hot, but not too hot (no triple-digits), and less smoky than the 2012 fair. A storm brought rain on Aug. 22, shutting down carnival rides for about 20 minutes.
Check out photos from this year's fair by clicking on the image below of Lexi Petersen, 7, putting the pedal to the metal in a kids tractor pull contest