Monday, July 11, 2011

Salem Fair Winds Up; Schedule May Change Next Year

More than 20 years ago, when the Salem Fair was new and I was briefly between jobs (very, very briefly), a friend and I made a proposal to do the marketing for new event. I had no marketing experience and she couldn't write much more than her name, but was marvelous with graphics. We thought it was an inspired pairing. It wasn't. The little pig that my friend Suzan Bright imagined as the symbol of the fair never got to wallow for a minute in the event that has become a premier attraction in the region.

It has just ended this year's run with yet another record attendance and despite all the jokes ("Hey, wanna go to the fair and count mullets and teeth?"), the fair gets the last laugh every year. I have been once, very briefly about six years ago and have mostly watched the fair from the top of the baseball stadium next door (I even got a stunning photo from up there at one point), but this kind of entertainment just isn't my bag. If it's yours, god and Carey Harveycutter love you.

Here's a release from the people who bring you the fair. Some interesting facts and figures within:

The Salem Fair wrapped-up its 11-day run at the Taliaferro Complex last night, but not before posting gains in attendance and revenue for the third straight year. Fair Manager, Carey Harveycutter, says attendance for this year’s event was up five percent over 2010’s figures as approximately 315,000 folks toured the fair's 14-acre midway this summer.

“We had a great run despite two nights of rain.” says Harveycutter. “Ticket sales for rides were up and the independent food operators also reported solid gains.”

Attendance for the opening night of the fair increased by 10 percent from 2010 and overall gross ride receipts for ticket sales were up two percent. These increases occurred even though heavy rain during the late afternoon on July 4 and on the evening of July 8 knocked attendance down as much as 40 percent on those two days.
“While the economy is improving, it’s still stagnant and people tended to stay home and look for value for their entertainment again this year,” says Harveycutter. “I’ve often said that when you offer a quality product like Deggeller Attractions does, the public will respond, and they did just that once again this year.”

Creative arts and horticulture exhibits also were up more than 25 percent this year as over 500 individual exhibitors put their produce, baked goods and crafts on display.

Harveycutter says the Fair is considering a schedule change for its 25th anniversary year that could lengthen the fair by several days in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Fair in a strange way. The lights, the food smells, the crowd. It's a buffet for the senses.

    It's photogenic too! The Fair in action shows up mid way through this sweded film: