Expanded fair a hit, planners say

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ISLE OF WIGHT—More than 12,000 people attended the Isle of Wight County Fair during its four-day run that ended Sunday, according to a county spokesman.

Fair attendance reached a peak of 6,611 on Saturday, Don Robertson said Monday.

Robertson said he was “not aware of any big problems” during the event, which was the county’s first full-fledged fair at The Fairgrounds at Heritage Park.

Isle of Wight opened the park on Route 258 north of Windsor last year, but the county opted to hold an event called AgFest instead of a regular county fair in order to give extra time to get the facility ready for an event as large as the one this weekend, Robertson said.

The last regular fair in the county was in 2006, and it was held in the field adjacent to the courthouse complex.

The difference in venues and events made it impossible to accurately gauge the growth in attendance at this year’s fair, Robertson said.

The new venue, he added, seemed to have been a hit with fairgoers. There were some small concerns that had been shared with organizers, but “overall, we’ve just heard really positive comments.”

Attendance by day was as follows, according to planners: Thursday, including the Seafood Fest, 975; Friday, 2,244; Saturday, 6,611; and Sunday, 2,238.