GARDEN CITY, Idaho — More than 273,000 people headed to Expo Idaho for this year's Western Idaho Fair, one year after the fair was canceled entirely for COVID-19 concerns.
The turnout jumped 9% from 2019, organizers said.
"The record attendance at this year's Western Idaho Fair is a testament to the hard work and outstanding planning on the part of the Expo Idaho staff who work tirelessly year-round planning for this annual event," said Ada County Board Chairman Rod Beck. "This year Expo Idaho staff had the added responsibility of making sure safety protocols were in place to protect both patrons and staff. It was good to see all the smiling faces and the enthusiasm after the cancellation of the 2020 event."
The fair also hosted 2,500 competitive exhibitors, 9,200 competitive entries, and 400 businesses. A total of $134,569 in prize money was paid out to the owners of the winning entries, while 4H and Future Farmers of America participants brought in $430,641 during the Jr. Market Livestock Sale.
"The Western Idaho Fair is part of the fabric of our community. I was pleased to see so many families enjoying an event that celebrates our agricultural heritage," said Ada County Commissioner Ryan Davidson. "The numbers speak for themselves. This annual event is very important to this community which is why I voted to make sure it took place this year."
The ten-day fair run also featured five concerts at ICCU Grandstand Stage, which also set attendance records with 63,500 people in the stands. Jon Pardi's performance garnered the most fans, with 17,200 in attendance.
Western Idaho Fair Director Bob Batista said organizers are already looking ahead to next year's fair, slated for Aug. 19 - 28, 2022.
"One of the best things about the Western Idaho Fair is seeing the smiling faces and knowing that memories that are being made will last a lifetime," Batista said. "We are already getting to work planning next year's Fair which will be our 125th Anniversary."
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