By ANGIE SCHMITT
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD — Final attendance figures for the 2007 Canfield Fair are here, and they’re giving fair organizers something to smile about.
Six-day totals jumped more than 25,000 over last year, with nearly 343,000 taking part in this year’s festivities. Last year, final attendance rates topped out at 317,485, fair officials said.
“A big part of it’s weather,” said Kathryn Bennett, fair board of directors president. “It was perfect fair weather.”
High attendance translated into strong showings in nearly every aspect of the fair’s festivities, said Bennett.
Never have so many racehorses raced, or draft horses pulled on the Canfield fairgrounds than this year, she said. Entries in arts and crafts and many agricultural exhibitions also set records.
Fair organizers had to turn away many hopeful sheep and pig exhibitors, for lack of stable space, she said.
Attendance at feature entertainment was also strong, she said. The demolition derby and the tractor pull both sold out.
“It seemed like practically every department, everything was up,” said Bennett.
Cautious about taking credit
Board members would like to take credit for the gangbuster turnout, but they’re cautious not to overreach, said Bennett.
“We think we had quality everything,” she said. “But people didn’t know that until they were here.”
No immediate plans are under way to alter the fair to accommodate additional guests in future years, said Bennett. However, as a result of a few complaints, arrangements will be made to have additional benches at next year’s fair, she said.
Despite their success, exhausted fair organizers are too tired to celebrate, said Bennett.
“We’re all going to go home and rest,” she said.
Fair board members will begin planning for the 2008 fair in October, she said.