Revenue hit a record but attendance at the Spokane Interstate Fair dipped for the second straight year.
Nearly 281,000 people attended the 10-day fair, which ended under Sunday’s clouds. That compares to nearly 285,000 people in 1985 and 287,000 in 1994.
“This rainy weekend just killed us,” said fair manager Paul Gillingham. “We’d have had a record year if it hadn’t been for the rain.”
Opening night attendance was 37 percent over 1995, Gillingham said. In a touch of symmetry, the final day’s attendance was down 37 percent from last year.
While attendance was down, revenue was up $131,000 - or 18 percent - over last year. The fair collected $871,000 in admissions and other revenue, said Gillingham.
The price for fair tickets increased $1 this year, but included admission to the rodeo and most other entertainment. Last year, fairgoers had to buy separate tickets to see acts.
Normally self-supporting, the fairgrounds in June was forced to borrow $250,000 to meet expenses. Gillingham said that shouldn’t be necessary in 1997.
, DataTimes MEMO: Cut in the Spokane edition. The shorter Spokane edition story had Dan Hansen’s byline. The Idaho edition story had the byline: From staff reports.