Eleven days of almost flawless weather helped the N.C. State Fair top 1 million visitors for only the fourth time ever and draw the second highest number of people in its 163-year history.
The fair attracted 116,041 people on its final day, a record for the second Sunday. That brought the fair’s total attendance to 1,028,364, second only to the record of 1,091,887 in 2010.
The fair actually got off to a slow compared to last year, with attendance on the first three days lagging. Fair spokesman Brian Long said the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew may have depressed attendance early on, particularly on the first Thursday, when about 10,000 fewer people showed up compared to last year.
But the turnout since last weekend has been both above average and last year’s total, with a near record 150,747 people jamming the fairgrounds on Saturday.