The third annual Henry County Fair did not break even this year according to reports, but it is still gaining ground and is expected to continue growing.
Roger Adams, director of the county’s Parks and Recreation department, estimated the cost to hold the fair this year was $85,500. The income from the event was $77,570.
“This year, we were ahead of last year in attendance and income until the (effects of a) hurricane hit Saturday, and we did not open,” Adams said.
He explained that “Saturday is by far our busiest day. We tried to open it for like two hours, and then it was just more rain. We just had to close for the day.”
Even without Saturday’s visitors added to the total, Adams said about 4,500 people attended the event.
In 2022, the estimated cost was $97,000 with an income of $99,000, Adams said, and an estimated 8,000 people attended that four-day event.
Adams said the county contributes $30,000 in revenue to offer the fair.
Although some say they are paying twice to get into the fair, with the ticket cost and tax dollars being used to fund the event, Adams said this isn’t really accurate.
“The majority of the expenses are paid for with sponsorship, gate sales, and we get a percentage of the ride sales,” he said.
“It only costs $5 to get into the fair, and for $5 you get a concert, you get two ground shows, and you get the animal exhibit,’ Adams said. “Of course, you buy a ride wristband if you want to ride rides.”
The county, he added, also believes the fair will eventually pay for itself.
Adams said he has been told by those who have experience with similar events that it takes about 10 years “to really establish your fair and brand and so people know about your fair and return each year, and we hope to continue growing our fair each year in the future.”