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Illinois fair attendance down 9 percent with rain

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – Attendance at this year’s Illinois State Fair is down about 9 percent from last year during a week of frequent rain.

Fair manager Amy Bliefnick tells the Springfield Journal-Register it drew roughly 773,000 visitors through Saturday. That’s down from 854,000 at the same point last year. Sunday admissions numbers weren’t yet available that evening, which was the last fair day.

Bliefnick says she’s “thrilled” with the number, because it rained on 8 of the 11 days this year. Seven events were canceled and others were postponed because the fair’s 1-mile dirt track was too wet.

Total estimated admission revenues were down 5 percent. Illinois State Police say the rainy weather helped keep the fair relatively calm this year.

Bliefnick says “beautiful weather” attracted 961,000 people overall in 2013.

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