Meadville Tribune

December 9, 2011

County fair profits up significantly over 2010

By Ryan Smith
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Fair weather and fast-selling major events brought large crowds and profits topping $200,000 to the 2011 Crawford County Fair, officials said Thursday.

This year’s total net profit — $202,174.38 — is significantly larger than the fair’s total gain of $166 in 2010, county Fair Board Treasurer Diana Perry said Thursday.

The board’s members reviewed this year’s attendance and financial figures at its annual year-end meeting Thursday.

According to board reports, paid attendance at August’s 2011 Crawford County Fair — considered to be Pennsylvania’s largest agriculture-based fair — totaled 76,761, topping the 2010 attendance figure by more than 5,000.

Officials said multiple rains, the cancellation of a major tractor-pull event and low ticket sales for some of the main fair-hosted concerts all contributed to 2010’s lower attendance and smaller profits. This year, a sold-out performance by country superstars Lady Antebellum, a near-sell-out show by Luke Bryan and Easton Corbin and a sold-out nighttime regional tractor pull event made a difference, officials said.

Higher special event attendance “alone makes for a good year,” Perry said Thursday. “And the weather couldn’t have been any better ... (that also) makes for a good fair.”

The highest on-record paid attendance for the eight-day fair was 86,997 in 2006. The paid attendance numbers don’t include those under age 12 or 4-H and FFA members who are admitted free. The numbers also don’t include free senior citizen admissions and those who bought passes. The fair board has estimated there is approximately one free or pass admission for each paid one.

Perry reported Thursday that total revenues for this year’s fair were $1,539,535.13, with operating expenses totaling $1,251,563.27 and capital improvement expenditures totaling $85,797.48.

Lady Antebellum’s sold-out fair performance brought in revenues totaling $404,689, according to Perry. After $365,265.04 in expenses, that show brought the fair a profit of $39,423.96.

She said the near-sell-out Luke Bryan/Easton Corbin performance brought in revenues totaling $172,382 and expenses totaling $141,113.79, leaving the fair with a profit of $31,268.21.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, fair officials nominated members to positions on the board. The board’s officers will remain the same in 2012, Perry said, with Walter (Boots) Dunn serving as president; Bill Davis as vice president; Bill Winters as second vice president; Gary Graham as secretary; Perry as treasurer; and Anne Hall as executive secretary.

Longtime fair board member C. Sherman Allen was also appointed to another five-year-term on the board.



Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at rsmith@meadvilletribune.com.