Some State Fair Vendors Say Sales Are Down

By: 10/11 Central Nebraska News; Courtesy: KSNB-Hastings
By: 10/11 Central Nebraska News; Courtesy: KSNB-Hastings

It's the 11th and final day of the 145th Nebraska State Fair. Early numbers released last Tuesday showed attendance was down, but did traffic pick up as the fair winds down?

"A normal day last year we always had a line constantly." Said Derrick James, Assistant Manager of Porky's.

What a difference a year makes, James says their second round at the Nebraska State Fair can't compare to last.

"Now we maybe have 5,6 people in line, then we'll have a little break. These shows let out and it will fill back up and then it will drop." Said James.

A crowd is gathering outside of the novelty food specialty booth, offering fried watermelon, frog legs, Porky's parfait's, even a French toast burger.

While the crowd loves the wacky options, James says the fair is noticeably quieter.

"The fair board's doing a great job. We're working our butts off. Everyone's working their butts off. The weather just isn't good this year." Said Facility Director, Jamie Parr.

State Fair officials say part of the problem, may be location. Porky's is located in the East Entertainment Area.

"We're still struggling to get people over. Most of the acts had full bleachers which is great to see. It is starting to catch on." Said James.

Vendors in other areas say sales are down too.

The owner of the Hawaiian Shaved Ice Stand says her sales had steadily been increasing over the last 4 years.

"Except for this year. We're, today should be good so we'll see what happens." Deb Ortega, Owner of Hawaiin Shaved Ice.

She too, says weather was a factor.

"The rain and chances for storms people stay away more." Said Ortega.

While many vendors are noticing that their sales are down, what they say matters most is what their customers think. According to initial State Fair Survey results, more people are saying that the state fair just keeps getting better.

"This is very nice. I'm glad I came down. I might make it so I can come back again." Said Bernice Skinner a fairgoer from Illinois.

"You came last year too? Which year did you have more fun?
This year." Said sisters, Calyn and Addisyn Mowinkel.

"It's a lot cooler today which is way better. Usually it's super hot. It's a blast this year." Said Angelo Martinez.

Attendance at the fair was down 4% as of last Tuesday. Fair officials are releasing new numbers tomorrow morning.


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