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Big Sky Country State Fair breaks attendance records - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Big Sky Country State Fair breaks attendance records

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BOZEMAN -

The Big Sky Country State Fair broke quite a few of its own records this year, in the six days that it came to Bozeman.

The fair drew 43,073 people through its doors, a 10 percent increase from the 2016 fair.

"This year, we seem to have gotten it right, and that makes us feel so good because we want to be able to please our customers and improve upon their experience," said Fairgrounds Manager Lori Cox.

Some highlights of the fair included the Eli Young Band concert, which packed the Anderson Arena with a record 5,004 attendees.

The Ivan Doig exhibit was also popular amongst fairgoers, with 2,200 people dropping by to learn about the famous Montana author.

"Probably the programming is number one for us, making sure that that programming is tight all the way through for the various audience types that we have," said Cox.

One improvement the fair hopes to make for next year is adding more shade for fairgoers, to keep everyone out of the hot sun.

"We have so many things on our plate to improve, one of them is shade, so next year we'll see some shade improvements, we're really excited about that," said Cox. "It was hot this year, we had that 97-degree day, so that's a big one."

Overall, day-to-day admissions were up 33 percent from last year, with sponsorships jumping up 44 percent, and purveyor sales increasing 36 percent.

All of this bodes well for the Big Sky Country State Fair, but Cox said there's more to celebrate than just the numbers.

"Probably the number one thing that [fairgoers] said was, 'We just had so much fun, we came and there was so much to do for all ages and all different types of our family members,' and that pleases me to no end because that's the goal."

Cox said planning for next years fair begins this month and a complete profit and loss statement will be made available on Aug. 31.

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