People stream into fairgrounds as weather clears

(Columbia) Oct. 9, 2005 - Thousands came to the fair Sunday, making it the biggest turnout so far this year.

After a soggy start, the State Fair is finally starting to dry out. And that's good news for the thousands of fairgoers who braved the clouds and came out to enjoy the day.

Fairgoer Kim Kelly, "After church we just decided to come out and have a good time."

There's something at the fair for all ages, according to Mike Presley, "The older you get, it used to be about the rides, but now it's the food."

Sophia Chen is also excited about the fair food, "To see what's out here and enjoy the rides and elephant ears and candy apples. I love candy apples."

The increased turnout is a relief for food vendors like Richard Wright of Sugar Shakers, "It was a little slow, but it was weather related and looking like rain in the forecast."

Because of last week's rain fair official say they're down about 80,000 from last year, but they say as the weather clears up so will the number of fairgoers. Manager Gary Goodman, "As long as the rain comes at the end of the fair it's okay. It's when it's at the beginning that you have a problem."

Goodman says the turnout on Sunday is promising, but he says they are taking a wait and see approach to fair attendance this week, "We know we can't have a record year each year as much as we'd like to, so we'll look forward to a great fair and hope the weather settles down."

Reported by Tamara King

Posted 10:40pm by Chantelle Janelle