North Carolina State Fair

All posts tagged North Carolina State Fair

Source: Triangle Business Journal – by Chris Baysden

The North Carolina State Fair’s take from Powers Great American Midways, the carnival operator at this year’s event, is nearly $4.1 million, according to spokesman Brian Long.

The fair already had announced that its attendance at the event topped the 1 million mark. But the carnival operator’s tab is based on the number of paid attendees, which clocked in at 788,318.

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Souce: Written by Jeff Hamlin/David Horn – NCNN

For the first time ever, the North Carolina State Fair has surpassed the 1 million mark in total attendance. Over the course of the fair’s 11-day run 1,091,887 went through the gates.

Going into the final day of the event on Sunday, the fair had already set a new attendance record. State Agriculture Department Spokesman Brian Long said the good weather helped. “Last year we had some cold weather, we had some rainy weather and this year really we’ve had, with minor exception, just fantastic weather the whole time. It’s just really made a difference,” said Long.

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Source: Chris Baysden – Triangle Business Journal

There were a whole lotta people at “A Whole Lotta Happy.”

North Carolina State Fair officials said Monday that this year’s fair – which used the promotional slogan “A Whole Lotta Happy” – broke records for total and single-day attendance.

The fair drew 877,941 attendees this year, beating the previous record of 858,611 in 2007.

The crowd on Oct. 25 also set a single day record of 104,370.

Fair spokeswoman Natalie Alford said that several days of good weather helped boost attendance. She also thought that the recent economic slump might have helped as well.

Tickets for the fair were $7 for adults at the gate and $5 in advance – an affordable recreation alternative for folks who had stayed home and pinched pennies for months.

“People… have been just itching to get out and do something fun and the state fair is fun,” she says.

Powers Great American Midways provided the rides for the fourth time this year. The company is slated to pay the fair $5.50 per paid admission ticket.

That would generate $4.8 million in revenue based on an attendance of 877,941. But Alford said the attendance figure includes some complimentary tickets and that she wasn’t sure yet how much revenue the fair would generate from the event.

The fair ran from Oct. 15 through Oct. 25.

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Source: Sam Jacobson – The Daily Tar Heel

Blogs and Twitter generate interest

The N.C. State Fair is Tweeting, blogging and Facebooking its way to an unprecedented increase in ticket sales.

The fair’s social networking outreach, which began in June 2008, has helped to double ticket sales from this time last year.

With the fair less than two weeks away, more than 16,800 admission tickets have been sold without anyone leaving their homes.

The troubled economy could have helped ticket sales — local attractions become more popular when people can’t afford to travel, said Karlie Justus, state fair public information officer.

The N.C. State Fair is the first state fair to use Twitter to promote ticket sales and fair officials are also using it to encourage potential attendees to tell fair officials what attendees want to see, eat and do at the fair.

“We try to have conversations with people on Twitter so people can relate to us,” Justus said.

“People always want to hear about the new foods and the rides. It has been a really great customer service tool.”

Twitter is facilitating more than just better ticket sales. American Idol contestant and 2008 UNC alumnus Anoop Desai was able to contact the state fair’s management and book a performance — all via Twitter.

“It’s really helpful because you don’t necessarily have to go through a PR firm, you can just put it out there and it happens,” Desai said.

He announced on Twitter that he wanted to perform at the fair and the fair management contacted him after reading it.

“Honestly, he would not be performing at the fair if not for Twitter,” Justus said.

The fair will be Anoop’s first solo performance since American Idol.

“It was something that I wanted to do for people that supported me,” said Desai, a Chapel Hill native.

“I’ve only missed about three fairs in my entire life, so I’m very excited about performing there.”

The fair also is promoting a new event called the Deep Fried Triangle Tweetup, which will bring together local Twitter users at the fairgrounds.

The fair is partnering with Ourhashtag, a social networking company that has organized Tweetups throughout the Triangle area.

Jeff Cohen, social media strategist for Ourhashtag, said the fair partnered with the company in order to attract fans who have participated in Tweetups throughout the region.

“The folks at the fair are trying to reach out to people who wouldn’t necessarily go,” Cohen said. “The Tweetup is designed to make these people feel special, almost like a VIP group.”

The fair is also using a blog called “Deep Fried @ the N.C. State Fair” for publicity. The blog features frequent updates about what will be happening at the fair, a video of Anoop’s training regiment and other ticket sales updates.

A “deep-friend ambassador” was announced Monday on the blog. The winner will attend the pre-fair media lunch, sample the newest fair foods and music and blog and Tweet about the experience on her own personal blog and the official fair blog.

“We want someone to come out and blog about everything,” Justus said.

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Powers Great American Midways will operate the carnival rides and games at the 2009 N.C. State Fair, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced.

Troxler said he and State Fair management chose to offer the contract to Powers for 2009 based on the company’s performance at the past three State Fairs, as well as the financial benefit to the state. State regulations allow the State Fair to enter into a one-year contract with a carnival company without taking bids.

“We’ve got a carnival contract that’s as good as, or better than, any state fair in the country,” Troxler said.

State Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt and Les Powers, president of Powers Great American Midways, signed the contract today (Dec. 11).

The Pender County-based company will pay the state $5.50 for each person who buys an admission ticket to the 2009 State Fair, the same base rate as this year. The contract will again include a provision that allows Powers to lower its payment 20 cents per person by bringing in two rides that are not more than 24 months old and have never played the N.C. State Fair before. The company qualified for the discount this year by bringing in several new rides, including the Mind Blaster and Vortex.

The N.C. State Fair is a self-supporting entity that does not rely on legislative appropriations to operate. The State Fair uses the carnival company’s payment and other revenues for fairgrounds operations and improvements.

The 2009 State Fair will take place Oct. 15-25.

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