Thousands turned out May 31 to June 3 for the yearly affair, which attracted patrons with a variety of off-the-wall events, shows and food options.
Overall attendance figures for the 76th annual fair hadn’t been compiled by Press time, but CEO Robert Williamson anticipates a large increase. “All in all, it was a success,” Williamson said. “The grandstands were packed and everyone appeared happy.”
The theme of this year’s event, Under the Sun, lived up to its billing. Rain interrupted much of the event last year, which led to decreased attendance.
“It was great to have it be sunny for all three days,” said Williamson.
Traditional favorites such as jugglers, carnival rides and sugary treats awaited patrons the minute they breezed through the turnstiles, but nothing ramped up emotions like the series of events brought back from past years.
The return of stockcar racing combined with a series of other automotive crowd-pleasers kick-started the adrenalin of fans. Crowd favorites included boat trailer races, a racecar rollover competition and dancing sea lions.
“It was really a great fair,” Williamson said. “We were really busy.”
Proceeds from the livestock auction increased 52 percent from last year, eclipsing $200,000.
As darkness fell on each of the fair’s four evenings, music honoring music legends erupted from the fair’s main stage, including Rocking Down the Highway (Doobie Brothers), Cream of Clapton (Eric Clapton) and Blaze of Glory (Bon Jovi). The Spazmatics performed ’80s music Thursday night.
For the first time, Sunday’s finale featured entertainment on two stages in a celebration of Hispanic Culture and performance by the band FRESH.
Liberty senior Cierra Provan presided over the fair as queen.