The fair’s biggest day was this past Saturday, when 113,917 people poured through the gates. Sunday’s crowd count was 102,696, which was 36,745 more people than the corresponding day in last year’s run – the biggest year-to-year daily attendance gain of the fair.
In general, attendance was slow the first several days compared to the 2011 event. The exception was the first Saturday, Sept. 8, which drew 73,489 people, besting last year’s opening Saturday by 7,638 people.
But the middle weekend drew big crowds – more than 200,000 people combined, beating last year’s middle weekend figures by 64,997.
The fair released attendance numbers late last night, after the gates closed on the final day of the 17-day event. That’s a change from years past, when the fair has released daily crowd counts to the public.
It’s not the only adjustment. The fair also is getting a new name: Washington State Fair. The new moniker isn’t expected to become official until next year, when the trademark process is completed.
But the fair started a “soft roll-out” this year in print and television advertising.
On the fair’s opening day, a food drive for the Puyallup Food Bank collected 200,000 pounds, breaking last year’s record. And the first “Do the Puyallup Walk to Beat Breast Cancer” drew more than 500 walkers on the fair’s final Saturday and generated more than $23,000.
Next year’s fair is Sept. 6-22.