State Fair attendance up despite weather challenges

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2014 Delaware State Fair Photos by Jason Minto Photography
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Delaware State Fair attendance hit the 303,00 mark in 2023, despite storms and hot weather, up slightly from a year earlier.

Hot weather is commonplace with the fair, held from mid to late July.

The fairgrounds now have multiple air-conditioned buildings and livestock was made more comfortable or large industrial-grade high-velocity, low-speed ceiling-mounted fans installed last year.

Assistant General Manager and Director of Marketing Danny Aguilar stated “The blend of great entertainment offered in and outside of the M&T Bank Grandstand continued to show why the Delaware State Fair, after 104 years, is consistently considered to be one of the best summer destinations for great entertainment on Delmarva. This year’s lineup was quite popular, with over 52,000 concertgoers in attendance. We continue to strive to offer quality entertainment opportunities with great experiences for our patrons like VIP packages, beer gardens, live entertainment throughout the grounds, amazing food, shopping, and entertainment.”

The fair did not release attendance figures for years when the Harrington event was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day led to the donation of 19,277 pounds of non-perishable Food Lion items. Participating fairgoers turned in at least five non-perishable food items and received a free gate admission ticket into the fair. All donations will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware, which estimated the donations would result in 23,132 meals for Delawareans.  

New features to the grounds were the addition of metal detectors installed at all public gates, the installation of new security cameras, high-speed traffic bollards, and a new public restroom/track entrance for the M&T Bank Grandstand. 

The fair took some heat from gun rights groups over a no-firearms policy. Second Amendment absolutists continue to claim that armed fairgoers make the fair safer, a position not supported by law enforcement and others.
  
“The 2023 Delaware State Fair will certainly go down as a fair to remember as the weather, both good and bad, continued to play a crucial role in making this year a success. As we reflect back on another successful fair, I’m always thankful for the collective hard work of our volunteers, board members, & staff. Planning for 2024 is already underway as our staff, volunteers and Board are committed to making the fair bigger and better each year while maintaining our agricultural roots right here in Delaware,” stated the President of the Delaware State Fair Board of Directors Ron Draper.

The state is owned by entities tied to the agricultural community. The fair also has an ice arena, casino, and harness track.

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