CHILLY SPRING FAIR TURNOUT LOW

CATEGORY: SUP Lee Board of SupervisorsMOULDE

CHILLY SPRING FAIR TURNOUT LOW

By Philip Moulden

Daily Journal

Chilled winds and persistent rains put a heavy damper on attendance at Lee County’s first spring fair, officials said Monday.

Chancery Clerk Bill Benson said preliminary turnstile counts showed 5,842 people paid to enter the gates during the North Mississippi Spring Fair & Rodeo’s 10-day run at the Lee County Agri-Center grounds.

Although the count doesn’t include advanced ticket sales, those numbered only in the hundreds, Benson said.

That’s roughly 20 percent of the gate count for the annual late-summer Northeast Mississippi Fair & Livestock Expositions, also sponsored by the county.

“I was not expecting the same number as in the (late-summer fair), but we were looking for 50 to 60 percent of that,” Benson said. “But you don’t expect that kind of weather this time of year.”

Still financially the county may not come out too bad, Benson noted. He estimated gross revenues, also not counting advance sales, at $55,000 to $56,000.

“We didn’t spend a whole lot of money on anything,” Benson said.

“I believe it’s going to be very close to the break-even point. It may be a little under or a little over. I think we’re going to be real close,” he said. “We didn’t make much money or we didn’t lose much.”

What the disappointing turnout means for the future of the spring event is uncertain. County officials had been considering making the spring fair an annual happening.

But even if county supervisors opt for another fair, it might have to get another fairway vendor. Wade Shows Inc. of Michigan, which also provides the rides and many concessions for the late summer fair, obviously took a beating during the spring run, local officials said.

“They had a lot of great rides, but it was too cold to get on them,” Benson said.

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