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Looking Back on a Successful New York State Fair

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Looking Back on a Successful New York State Fair
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SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- While Tuesday at the fairgrounds was about breaking down the remnants of this year's State Fair, officials said the previous 12 days were all about rebuilding.

"Some of the vibe in the community had been a little negative toward the fair, and we just wanted to come out of this fair with positive vibes, with people coming and having a good time," said the New York State Fair's acting director Troy Waffner.

That meant getting people through the front gates. To do that, Waffner said officials offered a mix of old favorites and new additions.

One of those was Monday's Dollar Day.

"We didn't know what to expect because we've never done a lot of promotional days like that. We found out, what a Dollar Day can do," said Waffner.

A record 122,870 people walked through the front gates Monday. It looks like that may be good news for bargain hunters at future fairs.

"It gives us kind of an opportunity to look at other soft days, maybe it's a Tuesday, maybe it's a Wednesday, and do some other deals at the gate: $5 after 5 or bring a friend or something."

Monday's record beat the previous one set just two days before. The total 965,147 visitors fell short of 2001's all-time high of more than one million. But Waffner says changes were made to how attendance is tallied since then, making this year's numbers significant.

"Some people would be given a pass for all 12 days, and whether they showed up or not, they were counted in the daily account. We took a much more conservative approach to that, we took a much more conservative approach to how we count the people staying in campers on the grounds," he said.

This year's big days were also learning experiences. High attendance and long waits in traffic went hand-in-hand and Waffner said that's one of the things officials will look at for 2015.

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