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Midway Tragedy, Weather Lead To Lowest Ohio State Fair Attendance Since 2004

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Karen Kasler
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The Ohio State Fair ended its 12-day run on Sunday, August 6.

After years of big numbers, attendance at this year’s Ohio State Fair plummeted to its lowest number in 13 years.

During its 12-day run the fair brought in 801,031 people – the lowest number since 2004 and a 13 percent drop from last year. Spokesperson Alicia Shoults says attendance fluctuates every year, but the breakdown of a Midway ride that left one person dead and several seriously injured was a factor. “I think that obviously, opening day’s tragic accident certainly contributed to that and accompanying that, the fact that the rides were closed for a few days.”

Shoults says the cooler weather and the occasional rain also might have kept visitors away. There were more than 120,000 fewer visitors to the state fair this year than there were in 2016.

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