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Despite pesky storms on and off throughout the week, officials at the Eastern Idaho State Fair (EISF) are celebrating record-breaking attendance.
EISF manager Brandon Bird said that rainstorms early in the week slowed attendance; however, the fair finished strong with sold-out grandstand shows country star Chris Young on Thursday, Celebrity Apprentice winner/country star Trace Adkins on Friday the ever popular Demolition Derby on Saturday.
"The concerts were the best ever. Amazing entertainers." said Angie Wheeler of Pocatello. "I'd go see them both again anytime."
The derby's two new events: the "Big Truck" and Figure Eight" additions were big hits with the crowd. Fairgoer Leslie Jess Sieger said, "I love the two new events at the derby this year. Thank you, Douglas Bowers, for putting on such a great event and for all the hard work you do for our community."
"The opening night Bull Riding Championships hit an unbelievable 10-year high is sales as well," Bird said. "The second-annual Gem State Classic Pro Rodeo on Monday, Sept. 2, and Tuesday, Sept. 3, doubled the professional cowboy entrants for all events - something that is unheard of for many pro rodeos."
"Our effort to bring a new high quality PRCA rodeo event to the fair was unbelievably well received with attendees still talking about the quality of the show," Bird added. "Also, our 2-Night Country Concert Package was embraced by music fans from all over Eastern Idaho, completely selling out for the first time in years. We look forward to how we can incorporate a similar package in 2014."
Bird said that fairgoers enjoyed the abundance of free entertainment as well. It included the Axe Women Loggers of Maine, Wild About Monkeys, Agrium Seed Survivor and Farm Bureau's Meet the Animals Petting Zoo.
While the storms may have initially slowed down some of the outdoor events, commercial vendor Jamie Warren of the Salt Lake Express said the storms increased traffic in the commercial building and that "sales were boosted because of the company's good fair specials."
Keeping with the "Feeding Frenzy" theme, spectators and contestants enjoyed the food-eating contests such as the Kids Pie Eating Contest, Funnel Cake Face Dive and Turkey Legs on a String.
"It's the dedication of thousands of people that make this fair great," said Bird. "Everyone from the exhibitors to concessionaires, sponsors to employees and especially those who have attended this year's event have made our "Feeding Frenzy" something we will never forget."
Live highlights from the Monster FreestyleMX.com Worldwide Tour on Wednesday, Sept. 4, are available for viewing online as well as a free download of Trace's [Adkins] song "Take It From Me" recorded live at the EISF. Go to www.facebook.com/funatthefair to download the song.
For highlights from the 2013 EISF, follow the fair on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Fair officials invite the public to share their photos and fair experiences on their website www.funatthefair.com.