Iowa State Fair comes to a close; attendance slightly lower than 2019

National News

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s yearly obsession came to an end on Sunday.

The Iowa State Fair finished its 11-day run with the usual vendors and a concert from the Doobie Brothers.

Iowa State Fair CEO Gary Slater said he’s pleased they could pull off holding the fair in the first place, considering COVID-19 concerns cancelled the festivities in 2020.

“We had as normal as a fair as we could have, but still had the things we needed to have for people to enjoy themselves and feel comfortable here,” Slater said.

Some people came to the fair multiple times. That included East Des Moines resident Laura Maury, who walked to the fair for nearly every day of its run.

“It’s a really good source of revenue for our state, and it showcases our state for the world to see,” Maury said.

Attendance for the State Fair was down compared to 2019. As of Sunday, 994,489 people came through the fairgrounds’ gates, including a high of 117,764 the day before.

In comparison, the fair had already drawn more than a million visitors by its final day in 2019.

Slater said he is not concerned about the dip in attendance, and added the numbers are strong enough in his opinion to get excited about the 2022 State Fair.

“How do you top a record year by 40,000 people two years ago? I knew we wouldn’t do that because we’re in a global pandemic,” Slater said. “People were excited about coming to the fair for all the right reasons, and I think that says it all.”

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