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Cumming Fair shatters record for attendance
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According to Cumming Fairgrounds Administrator Dave Horton, this year’s fair, which ran Oct. 6-16, welcomed 222,007 visitors. - photo by Jim Dean

CUMMING -- If this year’s Cumming Country Fair and Festival seemed more crowded than usual, there is a good reason.

According to Cumming Fairgrounds Administrator Dave Horton, this year’s fair, which ran Oct. 6-16, welcomed 222,007 visitors, up more than 50,000 from the previous record of 167,827 that was set in 2015.

“It blew out the last record by quite a bit,” Horton said.

The new record follows a trend that has transpired over the last few years. Since 2012, only one year — a rainy 2014 fair — has failed to break the record.

In 2012, the record was set at 141,000 and was broken the next year with 167,616. A rainy 2014 saw the total slide to about 154,000, before hitting nearly 168,000 in 2015.

Before 2012, the record was set at 127,500 in 2006.

“I think this fair is still in a growth mode and we’re able to offer a good value for families as far as leisure activities, special events,” Horton said. “We’re not drawing just from our county, we’re drawing regionally … As the word gets out to them we get more and more each year from outlying areas.”

Weather has also been a factor in recent years, and Horton said there was only one rainy day this year.

“The weather plays a major factor in the turnout,” he said. “We were very blessed this year to have just one day that had a weather effect to it, which was on the first Friday, we had some rain. We were still open; we actually had a concert that night.”

Even with the large numbers, there were few problems with attendees at the fair.

“I was very pleased with the fair this year, even though we had some huge days, just a lot of people, there were very few problems or instances we had to deal with,” Horton said. “It was a very good crowd; they were all here to have fun.”

Though the fair wrapped up on Sunday and will be out of most of the public’s mind for about a year, Horton and fairgrounds staff are already at work on breaking the record again in 2017.

“I was making calls yesterday,” Horton said. “I’m already getting rosters and pricing from agencies on entertainers, also some of the ground acts that are out on the circuit. Of course, every fair, every event, we take notes on little things we want to tweak a little bit.”