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Drop in fair turnout continues trend

The 4.6 percent drop in attendance at the 2004 Nevada County Fair continues a four-year trend that has seen turnout decline by more than 16,000 people.

Fair CEO Ed Scofield said Wednesday that attendance at the five-day event that ended Sunday totaled 103,663, down from 108,672 in 2003.

Temperatures averaged 96 during the first four days of the fair, about 8 degrees above normal, and Scofield said the intense heat was a factor in lower attendance.



“It just kills us when it gets hot like that,” he said.

Scofield also noted that attendance of children declined from 10,503 in 2003 to 9,720 this year. “We know the number of children in the community is declining, and that has an impact,” he said.




Attendance at the 2000 fair was an estimated 120,000 and has declined in three of the last four years, down to an estimated 110,000 in 2001 and 103,500 in 2002 before increasing last year.

The price of gasoline may have also contributed to the drop in attendance this year. Almost 91 percent of the people attending the fair make a round trip of less than 100 miles, according to a study done in 2002.

AAA of Northern California reported Tuesday that the average price of gasoline in California is $2.09 a gallon, 20 cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

– George Boardman

Nevada County Fair figures

Year Attendance

2000 120,000*

2001 110,000*

2002 103,500

2003 108,672

2004 103,663

* Estimated

Sources: The Union archive;

Nevada County Fair


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