State Fair Attendance Narrowly Misses Record Mark
August 19, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – New renovations to the Fairgrounds Coliseum and the addition of a Beer and Wine Exhibition helped attract one of the largest-ever crowds to the Indiana State Fair.
The 2014 State Fair saw a total of nearly 955,000 visitors, making it the third most attended fair in its 157-year history. The 2013 State Fair holds the attendance record with a total of almost 978,300 visitors.
State fair spokesman Andy Klotz said the weather during this year’s fair might have contributed to the relatively-small decrease in visitors.
Temperatures throughout the duration of the fair remained seasonably low and rain showered fairgoers almost three times more than during the previous year’s fair.
Still, State Fair officials were pleased by the amount of visitors who flocked to the event.
“We’re humbled by the tremendous response to the Coliseum renovation and we appreciate everyone who came out to enjoy this year’s fair,” said Cindy Hoye, state fair executive director. “It was wonderful.”
The new Indiana Beer and Wine Exhibition – just across the street from the Coliseum – attracted just over 48,000 visitors, along with many compliments from attendees and vendors.
More than 70 total breweries and wineries showcased their products during the fair. Each day, up to four different breweries and four different wineries were featured at the exhibition.
“This was a tremendous opportunity for us to reach a lot of people who weren’t familiar with our products or with craft beer in general,” TwoDEEP Brewing Co. President Andy Meyer said in a statement. “We thought the State Fair had a great operational plan in place and we look forward to being back next year.”
This year’s fair also saw packed crowds at the Free Stage – which featured a new band or musician each day – and an increase in competition entries.
Fair officials said they expect to announce the “Year of” theme for 2015 sometime in October. The 2015 Indiana State Fair take place Aug. 7 – 23.