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Ohio State Fair Attendance Up One Year After Deadly Accident

Attendance at the Ohio State Fair has been up compared to last year, when fair officials were dealing with the fallout from a deadly ride accident.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Expo Center, which include the state fairgrounds, says 384,767 people visited the state fair during its five days. That’s 69,596 more people than the same period last year.  

The fair is on pace to have more go through turnstiles compared to the slightly more than 800,000 who turned out in 2017, but fewer people than the 921,214 who turned out in 2016.

Previous fair attendance figures:

  • 2017: 801,031 visitors
  • 2016: 921,214 visitors
  • 2015: 982,305 visitors
  • 2014: 916,724 visitors
  • 2013: 903,824 visitors
  • 2012: 840,306 visitors
  • 2011: 833,304 visitors
  • 2010: 812,237 visitors
  • 2009: 826,037 visitors
  • 2008: 809,321 visitors
  • 2007: 806,301 visitors
  • 2006: 814,152 visitors
  • 2005: 802,074 visitors
  • 2004: 850,218 visitors

All fair rides were shut down for three days last year after Tyler Jarrell was killed when the Fire Ball ride broke apart. Both the ride’s maker and operator have deflected blame about which is responsible for rust that led to the catastrophic failure.

No accidents have been reported this year, although about a dozen people were briefly stranded on one ride that reportedly lost air pressure. No one was injured.

A spokesperson for the state fair told WOSU the number of ride bracelets purchased would not be available until after the fair because they’re sold at several retail locations.

Copyright 2018 WOSU 89.7 NPR News

Steve Brown
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and son. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.