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How Rain During Fair Week Can Impact Future Plans

Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 10:31 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois State Fair started off with the cancelation of the annual Twilight Parade due to rain and weather seemed to plague the fair all week.

Despite the less than ideal conditions, some were looking on the brightside on Friday.

Five days of rain had an impact on sales at the state fair.

"The truth is we need people to come. Last year we had more than 960,000 people," said State Fair Manager, Amy Bliefnick.

As of Thursday, attendance had only been 599,000 people. That's a 6% decrease over last year. Fewer people means less revenue for the fair.

"The revenue and income is used for expenses. We have the state fair fund so all the money we make goes into the state fair fund and all the money we spend comes from there," said Bliefnick.

The fair fund is used for maintenance and improvements at the fairgrounds. Bliefnick says it's too early to tell how much revenue will be lost this year.

"Right now there are some many other numbers that factor in. Not just admission and parking, but proceeds off of beers sales, pop sales, vendors and sales," said Bliefnick.

But vendors have been experiencing the same slow sales.

"If this weekend is a bust, it will hurt," said vendor, Michael Paine.

Paine has been selling his popcorn at the fair for 6 years. Despite the wet weather, he believes things could have been worse. The fair has had to close early in years past.

"If the fair shuts down people don't come back. Maybe even if its just for an hour we have a really bad storm come through people just won't come back," said Paine.

Thomas Brown says he is well on his way to making a profit, which is key considering vendors have travel expenses and even pay a vendor fee.

"You have those fairs. Some of them are really really great fairs. They pay really well. Then you have others that are not so great you know but it averages out," said Brown.

State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick says if the fair was to end Thursday, they would only suffer a six thousand dollar loss in ticket sales compared to this time last year. Of course they are hopeful for nice weather this weekend.How Rain During Fair Week Can Impact Future Plans


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