2016 was a year of “more” at the Western Idaho Fair thanks to loyal Fairgoers from across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. Total attendance for 2016 was 243,474 for the ten-day event, up 5% over last year, resulting in 10% more revenue overall. The competitive side of the Fair increased with greater exhibitor participation and more entries over last year.
More than 40,000 visited the Fair on Saturday, August 27, giving Butler Amusements its largest grossing day ever during its most successful Western Idaho Fair to date. In all, Fair closing weekend attendance surpassed opening weekend by more than 15,000 people.
“This year’s fair was one of the best we ever had. Great entertainment, weather, and a strong grandstand line-up made for a very successful year,” said Bob Batista, Western Idaho Fair Director. “We continue to strive to make our experience more fun and memorable each year.”
Very popular concert acts drew thousands of people from across the region, contributing to increased Fair attendance during the week and throughout the Fair. Josh Turner’s Tuesday night concert led the way with 13,103 attendees, followed by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo at 11,582 on Friday, Foreigner at 9,234 on Wednesday, and LOCASH and Sawyer Brown at 6,157 on Thursday.
Participants in the Junior Livestock Sale received the biggest boost this year, with a nearly 20% increase in sales over last year. This year’s Grand Champion Beef sold for $13,000, significantly more than last year. The success of the sale helps to reward the young people for all of their hard work and dedication to raising their animals throughout the year.
A few other memorable additions to this year’s Fair included a variety of National Navy week activities like the Navy Leapfrog skydiving appearances, the first ever Fair’s Got Talent competition, and a live daredevil Motorcycle Acrobatic show called Moto Maniacs.
The 120th annual Western Idaho Fair begins on Friday, August 18, 2017 and ends on Sunday, August 27, 2017. The theme for the 2017 Fair Exhibits is Stars, Stripes, and Fair Delights. Exhibitor information will be released in June 2017. So stay tuned for more from the Fair, and thanks again for making 2016 a rousing success!