The California Mid-State Fair saw steep increases in its livestock auction sales this summer, while other attractions remained on par with last year.
A total of 411,511 people attended the fair at the Paso Robles Event Center from July 17 to 28, organizers announced Thursday. That’s an increase of less than 1 percent from 2012. It’s also the third consecutive year that more than 400,000 people passed through the gates.
The fair’s biggest attendance numbers came in 2011 with about 430,000 fairgoers, officials previously said. The big crowds were attributed to the concert acts that year, when six shows sold a record-breaking 10,000 tickets each. The entertainment lineup then included Lady Antebellum, Kid Rock, Maroon 5, and Selena Gomez & The Scene.
This year, 67,715 people attended the fair’s concerts — nearly 200 more people than in 2012. While final ticket sales for individual shows weren’t available Thursday, fair officials reported earlier that the three highest concert-ticket sales for top-billed acts went to country trio Rascal Flatts, country superstar Tim McGraw and hard-rock band Van Halen. Rascal Flatts topped the groups in sales, followed by Tim McGraw.
The Junior Livestock Auction and Replacement Heifer Sale also saw an increase for the fourth consecutive year. The auction and sale brought in about $2.1 million, up 19.3 percent from 2012.
Auction sales increased because of more animals and purchases by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation.
“The 4-H and FFA program represents the culmination of months of hard work and is a key benchmark as we strive to preserve and promote agriculture,” Vivian Robertson, the Paso Robles Event Center chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Fairgoers spent more than $1 million on concessions, a 1.1 percent increase from 2012. The carnival, run by Fontana-based Davis Enterprises, reported $500,000 in sales — the same as last year.
All of the 2013 numbers have yet to be audited; final numbers are expected in October.
Next year’s fair will run from July 16 through 27.