The North Texas Fair and Rodeo wrapped up this weekend, and attendance estimates look promising.
Information from one of the gates was not yet available, but executive director Glenn Carlton said he estimates attendance was about 176,000 for the fairâ€™s entire run from Aug. 21 through Saturday night. Carlton said last yearâ€™s attendance was approximately 163,000.
â€œThey didnâ€™t come during the week, but they sure made up for it over the weekend,â€ Carlton said.
Because the fair is always the fourth week of August, the schedule conflict with the beginning of the school year comes up two out of every five years. Next year, the fair again will compete with the first week of school.
Assistant executive director Nanci Kimmey said attendance always is affected when the fair conflicts with the first week of school, but nice weather over both weekends helped the fair make up the difference.
â€œOur weekends were record-breakers,â€ Kimmey said.
About 22,000 people attended the fair Saturday, setting a new record.
The Charlie Daniels Band brought the fair to an end late Saturday night.
Carlton said the fairâ€™s growth is welcome, but its growing pains will need to be addressed next year. A lack of parking and arena seating caused some hassles on the fairâ€™s busiest nights, and heâ€™s considering adding a shuttle service to bring people to and from the fairgrounds for next year.
â€œWeâ€™re going to work really hard,â€ Carlton said. â€œI donâ€™t want anybody to come to any of these events and walk away disappointed.â€
RHIANNON SAEGERT can be reached at 940-566-6897 and via Twitter at @missmusetta.