Rain takes toll on Cumberland County Fair attendance
CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland County Fair saw a drop in attendance this year due to rain throughout the week-long event, the fair president said on Tuesday.
"We lost a good portion of (opening day) because of the rain," Bruce Flanigan said, adding that the fair was also hit with rain during its final two days, Oct. 2 and 3, and that rain was mixed in throughout the week.
He said Friday, Oct. 2, was "a tremendous day for us" in terms of weather and attendance.
"Obviously we would have liked to have a week of the weather that we got on Friday," he said, "but we didn't, so we just had to take what we got."
Although the rain began to fall on Saturday, the Cumberland County Grand Parade still took place at 10 a.m. But a truck pull, a performance by the Don Campbell Band and other events had to be cancelled later that day due to increasingly inclement weather.
Flanigan said that as of Tuesday he didn't have total attendance for the event, which in the past has attracted between 50,000 and 60,000 people.
"Overall, we had a good fair," he said. "Our attendance was down a little bit from what we expected, but we'll just regroup and start for next year."
Flanigan, whose term as president runs through December 2010, said he and other organizers would be meeting next week to begin planning next year's event, and that they would look into placing more events inside in order to work around the possibility of rain.
Still, he noted, "a good portion of our fair is outside, and we're just subject to the weather, and there's not much we can do about that."
The fair had several new superintendents in various departments this year, and the organization of the fair went well, Flanigan said. Each department will be evaluated to determine any areas that need to be addressed, "but I'm not aware of any major issues or problems there," he said.
One mix-up occurred early in the week when recycling bins were not placed around the fair until late Tuesday afternoon, after several people expressed concern about bottles and cans going into trash cans. Flanigan said the approximately 25 containers had been stored behind equipment in the maintenance building, "and it basically was just one of those things that got lost in the shuffle, and once we were made aware of it, we immediately addressed it."
This is the first year the fair has had the bins, which were donated by Waste Management. Flanigan said on-time placement of the containers is one of the things to be corrected for next year.
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or email@example.com.