Did rain-free run boost Lake County Fair attendance?

  • Miller Petting Zoo owner Dennis Rushing packs up the animals as he cleans up Monday after the end of the Lake County Fair at the fairgrounds in Grayslake.

    Miller Petting Zoo owner Dennis Rushing packs up the animals as he cleans up Monday after the end of the Lake County Fair at the fairgrounds in Grayslake. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Kyle McKee, of Hampshire, works on a tractor Monday for Buck Brothers as crews clean up after the Lake County Fair at the fairgrounds in Grayslake. The tractors are headed for their next stop at the McHenry County Fair.

    Kyle McKee, of Hampshire, works on a tractor Monday for Buck Brothers as crews clean up after the Lake County Fair at the fairgrounds in Grayslake. The tractors are headed for their next stop at the McHenry County Fair. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/28/2014 4:27 PM

The numbers won't be tallied for a few days, but Lake County Fair officials were optimistic the 86th annual event that ended Sunday was well received.

"Overall, I think it went very well this year. Everything operationally ran smoothly," said Jon Brodzik Jr., president of the Lake County Fair board of directors.

 

Brodzik said he did not hear of any issues with traffic flow or parking, and there were no rain days.

One of the biggest influences on attendance on any given year is the weather. This year was rain free, though it was windy at times and cool at night.

Last year, an-all day rain and storms on Friday was followed by a cool and damp Saturday. The final tally for 2013 was 83,486 down 8 percent from 2012.

By early Monday, most of the evidence of the five-day 2014 fair had been taken down and carted away. The fair office closed early and many of the officials had the day off.

"I really thought it was exceptional this year. It was the perfect week weather-wise," said Dennis Rushing, of Geneseo, as he packed up the Miller Petting Zoo.

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Brodzik said he heard from a lot of people who were glad the rodeo returned after a three-year absence, and the stands were full on Saturday night for the Mow Down Show Down professional lawn mower races.

An impromptu tug of war by four wheelers Sunday after the demolition derby was a crowd favorite, he added, and could be among the considerations for next year.

"Every year, we try to tweak it and try to fine-tune it," he said.

• Daily Herald photographer Gilbert R. Boucher II contributed to this report.

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