The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

August 16, 2010
Has State Fair turned the corner? Numbers say maybe

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Maybe the earlier start date did pay off for the California State Fair.

Not only did overall attendance go up nearly 10 percent in this year's version to 741,189, Cal Expo said today that the more important paid attendance figure rose by 11 percent to 512,277.

This year's version (shown in a Bee staff photo above) ended Aug. 1, a month earlier than the usual Labor Day closing, to try to attract more schoolkids on summer vacation. Lower food prices, admission discounts and relatively pleasant weather also helped, and the fair got past a robbery of a vendor and the unfortunate putting down of a pregnant cow.

But it's too early yet to say the fair has entirely turned the corner on a lengthy decline. The 2010 attendance figures are still lower than any other year this century, other than 2009.

And as The Bee has editorialized and has analyzed, the annual expo faces big challenges. State Fair officials, of course, say they're up to the task.

 

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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