This year's Marin County Fair was way better than fair when scored on the attendance and finance scale.
Fair chief Jim Farley, the county's director of cultural and visitor services, said 4.3 percent more people visited the bash at the Marin County Fairgrounds last week when compared with last year. The grand total: 122,000 attendees, up from 117,000 in 2011. The result was a record $1.4 million in gate receipts, up 12 percent over a year ago.
“It was a banner year for both attendance and also for fair entrants with over 13,000 participants,” Farley said in a release. “The community came out in full force and created some truly wonderful things from art chairs to cherry pies, to amazing quilts to spectacular chicken coops.”
In addition to gate admission revenues, parking revenue was $110,922, and food/beverage sales reached $1,175,162, all setting new Marin County Fair milestones.
Fair tickets were $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and free for children under 4. Parking was $6.
The five-day fair run — June 30 through July 4 — was highlighted by performances by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Steel Pulse, Los Lobos, the Temptations, the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats and nightly fireworks. Many of the headliners played to capacity crowds on the island near the Marin Civic Center. The "Grown In Marin" Pavilion was filled with fair guests checking out the multi-faceted exhibit of historic photographs by M.B. Boissevain, beekeeping, films and memorabilia.
Farley said keeping the fair affordable has been a top goal.
"Including fireworks, carnival rides, and headline entertainment in the price of admission makes the fair hard to beat for a full day of family fun. ... We’re proud to present a county fair that offers great value plus an entertaining and educational experience.”
Next year's fair is scheduled for July 3-7.