Attendance Drops after Changes to Macon County Fair
Tonight was the last night of the Macon County Fairgrounds Festival. The fair is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and a big attendance at the festival, could help them pay it off. Many people came out this weekend, but not nearly as many as in the years prior.
"It doesn't look real crowded to me," said festival-goer, Terri Jennings.
Another festival-goer, Sierra Barnette, said, "Last year, it was packed. There was like.. long lines to wait in, and this year, there's not even long lines to wait in."
The Macon County Fair Board could not afford to have a full fair. Instead, a scaled back festival.
"There's no tractor pulls, we're missing the animals, you know," said Jennings. "Just, a lot of stuff's not here."
Barnettte said, "Last year, there was like.. beauty pageants, food, rides, animals."
The biggest change is the removal of the grand stand events, leaving many disappointed.
"The big kids are okay because they kind of like the rides more than anything, but the little kids really miss the animals and some of the other shows," said Jennings.
David Spitzer agrees.
"The carnival rides are pretty much the same," said Spitzer. "The same that there's been last year. But I miss.. you know, the kids like to go see the animals and I enjoy the grand stand events."
Festival-goers say to bring back the fair, it's going to take more support from the community.
"People need to support the fair," said Jennings. "They need to get out and spend their money. The only way they can have a fair is if it's profitable or at least breaks even."
But with this year's low attendance, it could be a long shot. Festival organizers were hoping for peak attendance, to make a profit. Any profits, they say, will go toward their debt.