Attendance up again at the L.A. County Fair
Maybe it was the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that drew bigger crowds this year to the Los Angeles County Fair.
Or maybe it was the monster truck show, the carnival rides or the Rick Springfield concert.
Whatever it was, the fair closed Saturday marking the second year in a row of higher attendance numbers.
The fair drew 1,374,673 visitors, compared with 1,372,383 last year. It was a small increase but marked a positive trend for the fair, which endured a sharp decline in attendance from 2006 to 2008.
In addition, revenue from food and beverage sales was up 4% over last year and concert revenue increased by 7%, fair officials said.
Michelle DeMott, a spokeswoman for the fair, said fair operators began promoting it last year as a great entertainment value during tough economic times. This year, she said, they continued to stress the low admission prices but also emphasized that the fair was good fun for families.
"It's been a combination of things," she said.
DeMott added that attendance might have been even higher if not for an unusually brutal heat wave and burst of rainy weather that moved through the region during the last days of the monthlong fair.
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: Visitors to the Los Angeles County Fair enjoy the SkyRide attraction. Credit: Los Angeles County Fair Assn.