Springfield - Great weather helped give the Illinois State Fair a big bump in attendance & revenue for 2012.
"July you couldn't even sit on your porch it was so hot," State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick told WAND News. "So, finally the weather was absolutely picture perfect."
Attendance for the State Fair, which closed Sunday evening, was up nearly 15% over 2011. "Last year, in 2011, estimated attendance was 815,000. This year the attendance is over 900,000 people who visited the eleven days of the Illinois State Fair," Bliefnick said. She added this was the biggest year for the fair in a decade.
Parking & gate revenue was up by $400,000 over the previous year thanks in part to increased admission fees, grandstand acts and the weather. In 2011, the fair took in $1.1 million. This year revenue hit a record $1.5 million.
The 2013 State Fair starts next August 8th. Bliefnick says planning for that fair began last week. "I drive around with my staff and look at what's in the right position. What types of acts are popular. Who should we bring back again? Who should we move? Oh no, we started planning already. We've got the pencil to the paper," Bliefnick stated.