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Lee County a big winner with fair

March 12, 2014
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Spectacular weather greeted visitors as the 90th Lee County Fair drew to a close at the Lee Civic Center over the weekend.

Exact numbers were not immediately available, but it was believed that more than 100,000 people attended over the 11 days the fair was open, which is at or near a record for the event.

"We had great weather, a fabulous turnout and some record breaking days," fair manager Fran Crone said.

Article Photos

The One-Man Band, Marc Dobson, strolls the park and entertains the public at the Lee County Fair on Thursday.

Chuck Ballaro

Within hours of the 10 p.m. close, the rides were packed up and gone, heading to another fair. Only some of the concession stands were remaining by dawn Monday.

With the exception of some rain each Thursday and a couple chilly nights afterward, conditions couldn't have been better, and with the success of the Senior Day promotion, the fair was able to tap into a demographic it hadn't really zeroed in on before.

The final weekend featured local country acts Michael King and Brooke Huffmaster performed on the main stage inside the Civic Center, and the big livestock auction, horse speed show and numerous fun shows were among the featured livestock events at the horse ring and the Tinsley Pavilion.

And with all the snowbirds and other visitors to go with those who have attended the fair for years, it obviously has an impact on the Lee County economy.

How much, however is a mystery. It's not just someone chowing down on a corn dog, but it has ramifications from an agricultural standpoint, thanks to the 4-H's involvement in the festivities.

And it does bring people who either perform at or work at the fair to their hotels and restaurants, but aside from that, many visitors to the fair are people who either already live or winter here.

"We bring acts in who stay at hotels, and families probably travel to watch family members in the livestock program, but more than that, I really don't know," Crone said. "The fair is more community related than a baseball team who has spring training and brings droves of fans from out of state."

The Lee County Fair is dedicated to educating people and showcasing the agricultural and horticultural advantages that are available to participating youth from our community and surrounding counties, according to its mission statement.



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