* I truly enjoyed the Illinois State Fair this year. Obviously one reason was the perfect weather. But the entertainment was solid, the horse shows were fun as always, there were enough new food booths to keep me coming back for more and the fair’s fun quirkiness was ever present. So, I’m glad to see attendance was up…
Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the recently concluded Illinois State Fair reported its highest attendance in more than ten years. A total of 961,142 fairgoers passed through the gates this year, an increase of five percent – or 42,707 visitors – compared to a year ago, when attendance was 918,435. The figure is the fair’s highest attendance since 2002, when an estimated 1.2 million people visited the fair. […]
Several records were set during the 11-day run of the fair as well.
The Grandstand entertainment was the highest-grossing line-up in State Fair history with ticket sales of $2.03 million. The sales figure eclipsed the previous record of $1.57 million set just last year. Grandstand attendance totaled 53,287, the most since 2000, when 54,345 tickets were sold.
Toby Keith was the biggest draw - his concert sold 9,367 tickets, 144 more than the Styx and REO Speedwagon concert (9,223). Governor Quinn is one of Toby Keith’s biggest fans and attended his concert, where he declared “Toby Keith Day” in Illinois. […]
The increased spending at the fair boosts purchasing at local businesses, which in turn stimulates economic growth in the area. The Illinois Department of Revenue collected a record $257,584 in sales taxes from Illinois State Fair vendors. That’s seven percent more than was collected a year ago. With the sales tax rate in Sangamon County at 6.25 percent, that figure means fairgoers spent $4.1 million on corn dogs, lemon shake-ups, and assorted trinkets this year. Gate and parking revenue was $1,530,676, breaking the previous record set in 2012 of $1,513,884. North American Midway Entertainment, the fair’s carnival contractor, reported record gross receipts of $1.4 million, surpassing the $1.29 million it collected a year ago.