Final numbers have not been tallied, but fair board president John Bare believes attendance this year at The Great Frederick Fair exceeded last year’s numbers.
“That’s based on my personal observation,” Bare said Monday.
Bare and fair manager Becky Brashear said the nine-day event had few complications.
“I can’t say there was a single challenge,” Bare said. “And with so many thousands of people, except for a finger scrape here or some other minor thing, there were no issues at all.”
Bare has not seen the actual numbers yet, but indications are that the beer garden had its best year at the fair, he said.
The fair's first wine garden offered by Silver Maple Restaurant and Wine Bar also seemed to do well. The restaurateur wants to return next year, Bare said.
Even Saturday's late rain did not seem to slow foot traffic, said Richard Kline, of J.B. Seafood, who was tearing down the restaurant’s tent Monday afternoon.
“We were very busy the whole week,” Kline said.
One night of rain did not compare to last year when the fair was forced to close Tuesday due to heavy downpours, Brashear said.
Bare said he was most proud of how smooth vehicle flow into the fairgrounds was through Gate 3, where he worked.
Moving forward, Bare said the board will push a strong publicity effort to encourage fair-goers to use Monocacy Boulevard to alleviate traffic congestion on East Patrick Street.
Brashear said the concerts were a success.
“We got glowing reviews from the entertainers; they love Frederick and love the fair,” Brashear said, adding that organizers are discussing adding another day to the nine-day event.
The absence of serious injuries or catastrophes during the fair was the high point for Brashear.
“We had upward of 42,000 people Friday, and to have that many people with no problems speaks well of law enforcement and our fire and rescue services,” she said. “Everything jelled well.”
Seeing 4-H and FFA members’ accomplishments was another high point for the fair manager, she said.
“Knowing all the hard work they put in raising their animals, these kids are just phenomenal and should be applauded as much as kids on the athletic field.”
“It’s such a challenge to put on such an event, and we can’t thank everyone enough,” Bare said, “from the staff, board members, volunteers and paid workers.”
Visible law enforcement personnel play a big part in keeping order, Bare said. “We can’t say enough about them.”
Follow Ike Wilson on Twitter: @ikewilson99.