Fair attendance slightly down this year

The Berrien County Youth Fair saw 101,383 attendees this year, which was a slight drop compared to 2018.

BERRIEN SPRINGS — The number of Berrien County Youth Fair attendees this year dipped slightly compared to 2018.

According to Fair Director Karen Klug, the 2019 fair drew 101,383. In 2018, 104,129 showed up for exhibits and rides.

Klug said the dip can be attributed to the fear of inclement weather that never came to fruition.

“Monday and Tuesday, we were down a bit,” Klug said. “The weather man never does us any favors. They said it would rain and it never did.”

On Aug. 13, which was Kids Day, where children up through high school age were admitted free, the fairgrounds saw its highest attendance of about 18,800.

The slowest day came two days later on Aug. 15, when 15,600 attendees passed through the gates.

Klug said each day was fairly close in attendance, which is not normally the case, as Kids Day and the Wednesday concert tends to draw more people.

Among the biggest attractions were the youth exhibits.

More than 1,900 kids from Berrien County brought in about 10,700 exhibits throughout the week.

Klug said livestock auctions raised nearly $534,000 during the week.

The theme of next year’s fair, the 75th such event, will be “Diamonds Are Fair-Ever.”

“We’re trying to put together some plans for some special activities. We’re hoping to get some people who will attend, who maybe haven’t in a couple years,” Klug said. “We’re excited about it. Looking to do an exhibitor family picnic event that doesn’t take place during the fair.”

Among the planned events and special activities the fair has planned next year includes wearing specific shirts for the decade exhibitors took part in the fair.

Throughout the year, fair officials will hold other events and announce a list of activities leading up to next year’s fair.

“We know there are a lot of past exhibitors we want to get excited about seeing what’s changed,” she said.

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