Attendance at the 2013 Wisconsin State Fair topped one million. That million fairgoer mark hasn't been reached since 1969.
That was the summer of the first moon landing. It was the summer of Woodstock. In short, it's been a long time.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Beautiful weather drew record-breaking crowds of more than a million fairgoers to the Wisconsin State Fair this year, numbers that may be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, fair officials said.
The 11-day event attracted 1,012,552 attendees, and even weekdays saw as many as 122,000 guests. Total attendance was 10% higher than last year and the largest reported since 1969 — though the fair only started scanning tickets in 2002, which gives the most accurate numbers.
"There are very few fairs in the country that host more than a million people each year," Rick Frenette, chief executive officer of Wisconsin State Fair Park, said in a news release. "And while the Wisconsin State Fair has long been considered one of the top fairs in the United States, it is still such an honor to reach this landmark number."
Of course, the weather is always a factor, but I do think the attendance speaks more to what a wonderful event the State Fair is. Beautiful weather alone isn't enough to bring people through the gates. Poor weather can be responsible for keeping attendance numbers down, but good weather doesn't generate interest in the event.
The fair has something for everyone, all ages. It appeals to such a broad audience. It's a great tradition and it's actually gaining momentum.
At a time when technology is transforming our lives at warp-speed and constants have fallen by the wayside, the simple pleasures of the State Fair haven't become obsolete. It's popularity isn't fading in the least.
The State Fair remains a great celebration of Wisconsin and we love it as much as ever.