YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Editor's note: The above video is from July 31.
York State Fair officials on Monday released the 2022 fair report, which showed that over the course of the 10-day event, 352,077 people attended—a 34% decrease over 2021.
Fair officials cited the extremely hot weather and concert cancelations for the significant decrease in attendance numbers.
“The primary reason for the drop in attendance is weather-related,” Fair CEO Bryan Blair said in a statement. “With four days of excessive heat/humidity and three rainy days we fought the weather right from the start."
For the first four days of the fair, officials also noted, temperatures were in the high 90s.
“We also had three days where we got rain and that hurt,” Blair added in his statement. “Just the threat of rain is enough to keep people from coming out at any fair. We had a nice crowd building on the last Friday of the fair, but rain started around 1 p.m. and continued until about 6 p.m. We also had a rainy Sunday on the last day of the fair, which didn’t stop people from attending the concert but certainly impacted attendance from those who would’ve been at the fair but not attending the concert."
The fair also had two concert cancelations this year: Toby Keith canceled his appearance in June due to battling stomach cancer, and the Steve Miller Band canceled their show just four days before it was set to occur due to lead singer Miller testing positive for COVID-19.
“The fact that we sold out Jason Aldean and had nearly 13,000 people at that concert in the rain on the last night of the fair proves that if you put acts on the stage people want to see they will buy a ticket to the show,” Blair added.
Although attendance numbers were low, entries at the 2022 York State Fair were strong, Blair said. Officials are still calculating those totals, but he says that the fair had another strong year in the livestock category and that Horticulture Hall and Old Main entries were up as well.
“Overall while numbers are down it was a successful fair from a safety standpoint,” Blair said. "We did not have a single major safety or emergency incident and that’s always something that is in your mind during the times in which we live."
He added that planning has already begun for 2023's fair.