Perry, GA - In only eighteen years, the Georgia National Fair has become one of the top fairs in the United States. The fair broke its attendance record for the sixth straight year coming in at 443, 351 during the Oct. 4 - 14 run.
Michele Treptow, Director Of Communications for the event, said the fair has grown "in every measurable way, attendance; competitive entries; number of vendors, exhibitors, concessionaires; land size; programs; entertainment." She cited the fairs excellent reputation in the community, the family entertainment and environment and good weather for the continued attendance increase.
Examples of the family-friendly offerings included the Jonas Brothers/Everlife concert, supported by Atlanta radio Disney. The concert sold out with 8,022 seats, the largest crowd in Reave Arena history. The Die
rks Bentley/Luke Bryan and Daughtry/Day of Fire concerts were also sell-outs.
In addition to the concerts the fair offered the Royal Hanneford Circus, Robinson's Racing Pigs, Eudora Petting Zoo, Pirates of The Caribbean High Dive Show, Live Stingray Exhibit, Showboat Marionettes, Future of Magic Show and a nightly laser show as free shows. There were also dozens of walk-around entertainers for the fair guests to enjoy.
"The Fair is a tremendous entertainment showcase and a great value for the family," said Mike Froehlich, the fair's Executive Director. "It is our goal to provide families with a lasting memory of a great experience," he added.
The family-friendly atmosphere is even reflected in the price of admission. The adult admission did rise this year from $6 to $8 but children 10 and under were admitted free with a paid adult admission. Large savings were also available in advance of the event with gate admission tickets available for $7, 3 day passes for $20 and season's passes for $50. Sheets of 18 ride tickets were available in advance through Kroger for $10.
Reithoffer Shows provided the carnival midway with 60 rides and attractions. Rick Reithoffer said the carnival brought a huge array of spectacular rides including the Wild Maus, Wisdom Super Storm, and Full Tilt. All three of these pieces were new to the fair.
Reithoffer said the GNF "continues to grow year after year, making it one of the best fairs in North America.'. In fact, the GNF made the MCW Top 50 fair list again for 2007, moving up to # 42.
The carnival midway also saw some unique improvements instituted by Reithoffer this year. The show produced and painted 20 picture-taking areas for children. These displays were arranged so guests could put their face in the scene and take their pictures. They were a big hit with the kids according to Reithoffer. Also making their debut on the midway were some 1950's kiddie ride cars. They were repainted and placed in the kiddie ride area so children could play in them and take their pictures in the driver's seats. A large sign explained that these attractions were part of Reithoffer Show's history from the 1950's.
It was learned at the IAFE convention that 2007 would be long time fair manager Mike Froehlich's last year with the Georgia National Fair. Froehlich has accepted the manager's job with the York Fair in York, PA starting Jan.1. Board members said a search for a new manager for the GNF was underway.
The 19th annual Georgia National Fair, October 2-12, 2008