Officials estimate fair attendance up

CNJ staff

Though admission dollars are still being counted, Curry County Fair officials are estimating a gate attendance spike of at least 15 percent compared to the 2010 fair.

“We’re still counting arm bands and the weekly passes we sold,” said Kevin Jolley, general manager of the Curry County Fairgrounds that held the fair Aug. 15-20. “We know the gate walk-up was around 30,000.”

That number, Jolley said, was an increase of 5,000 visitors from the 2010 fair. Total money brought in is still being totaled, Jolley said.

“We’ve seen the growth the last couple of years with the fair itself,” Jolley said. “I think it’s with the entertainment we’re bringing.”

With the possible exception of Friday, Jolley said, every night showed a higher 2011 turnout than 2010 turnout. Saturday night was the biggest draw, with 3,000 alone coming for the Casey Donahew Band’s concert at the Curry County Events Center.

Jolley said changes for 2012 might include adding a band to the Thursday Tejano music night and reshuffling midway entertainment acts to keep content fresh each year.

“I don’t know of a lot we’re really going to get rid of,” Jolley said. “Pretty much everything worked. Of course, we’re going to keep our options open, and maybe there’s something that draws a bigger crowd next year.”