RALEIGH — The state Board of Agriculture has given preliminary approval to increasing the price of admission to the N.C. State Fair this year.
The fair manager, Wesley Wyatt, asked the board to approve a $1 increase. Tickets for adults would cost $7 in advance and $9 at the gate, while children ages 6 to 12 would pay $3 in advance and $4 at the gate.
The board gave its blessing to the increase, 7-0, via a conference call Thursday afternoon. The vote allows Wyatt to begin the process of raising prices, subject to final approval by the board later this year, said agriculture department spokesman Brian Long.
The increase is necessary to keep up with rising costs for employees, utilities and other expenses, Wyatt said in a memo to board members. Admission tickets and rental fees from the fair and other events cover the cost of running the fair and maintaining the fairgrounds.
The higher fees would generate more than $616,000, based on last years attendance, Wyatt said.
Group ticket prices and admission for members of the military would remain unchanged; seniors and children under 6 would still be free.
The increase would be the third at the State Fair since 2007. Admission went up $1 in 2007 and again in 2010.
Nearly 965,300 people attended the 11-day fair last fall, the third highest attendance in the fairs history.