Ohio State Fair attendance declines sharply in wake of accident

Total attendance at this year's Ohio State Fair was the lowest in at least seven years, according to numbers provided by fair officials.

801,131 people went to the fair during the 11 days it was open, a 13 percent drop from 2016 and also below the 812,237 who attended in 2010. Previously, fair attendance had increased each year since that time.

The 2017 State Fair got off to a tragic start when a malfunction on the "Fire Ball" ride killed 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell and injured seven others. Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides closed for several days following the crash, which remains under investigation.

Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler acknowledged the accident had a significant impact on attendance. He also said bad weather may have played a smaller role.

“This year, of course, was not a normal Fair year," Strickler said in a statement. "Nevertheless, we thank the hundreds of thousands of devoted fairgoers who supported this great end-of-summer tradition.”

Strickler added preparations are already underway for the 2018 State Fair, which will run from July 25 through Aug. 5.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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