Attendance is always a big topic surrounding the Wilson County Fair, with 2014 coming out of the gate with a fast start only to be waylaid on Sunday by the weather.
Opening night saw the second highest opening night attendance on record with 44,451 (2013 set the record with 46,299). The first Saturday attendance also was the second best for the second day of the fair with 114,730. Plus Saturday marked the third highest attendance of ANY day in the history of the Wilson County Fair.
Sadly, Mother Nature threw a curve ball on Sunday with stormy weather early in the day and threatening clouds and rain showers off and on for the remainder of the day. Fearing thunder and lightning and possible cancellations, would-be fairgoers opted to skip Sunday in large numbers, resulting in attendance of 19,304 – the lowest number since 2005 for any night. This was a decrease of 54,385 from Sunday a year ago, dropping the combined total for the first three days to 178,485 – a decline of 44,770, attributed entirely to the rainy Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Great Give-Away awarded $1,000 cash on both Friday and Saturday. The third ticket drawn on Friday came from Al’s Foodland and made Charles Carter of Lebanon a winner. The second ticket pulled from the barrel on Saturday came from AnyCare 24 and sent Clark Priuett of Bethpage home $1,000 richer. Five tickets were drawn Sunday with no winner, resulting in a rollover to Monday for a $2,000 drawing.
Tuesday’s drawing doesn’t involve cash – instead, one lucky winner will choose from five new vehicles: John Deere tractor with loader, Kubota RTV, Mahindra tractor with loader, Ford Focus, Dodge Caravan, Chevolet Malibu or Hyundai Sonata. There is no limit on tickets drawn at Tuesday’s give-away. There will be a winner – with tickets drawn until one is chosen! There will be two more cash drawings – one on Wednesday and the final on Thursday. Drawings begin at 8:30 p.m. in the Motor Sports Arena (also known as the Grand Stand Arena).
The rain on Sunday didn't dampen the spirits of Immanuel Baptist Church Ignite, a youth praise and drama team. Photo: Peggy Clemons.