2015 NC State Fair has second-highest attendance ever

RALEIGH — The North Carolina State Fair closed its 11-day run Sunday as the second-most-attended ever, with 1,019,738 people passing through the gates, fair officials announced Monday.

The record for total attendance is 1,091,887, set in 2010.

Sunday’s attendance was 107,397, nearly 10,000 higher than the same day last year. Saturday’s attendance was 140,886, which is 14,000 more visitors than on the same day last year.

For 11 days every October, the North Carolina State Fair is like a miniature city within the Triangle. On any given day during the festivities, the population exceeds that of small communities such as Chapel Hill.

The State Fair operates like many of the small businesses showcasing their goods in the Got To Be NC tent. It’s self-sustaining and receives no money from the General Assembly. When attendance is up, like it was this year, it makes for a successful bottom line.

“In the last fiscal year, 2014-2015, the fairgrounds brought in around $16 million in revenue, and a good chunk of that was the result of the 11-day fair,” said State Fair spokesman Brian Long.

Long said that the rental of fairgrounds facilities, such as the new Tobacco Pavilion, that was built using money from last year’s fair, makes up the rest of the revenue.