Last year, day five set a record for that day's fair attendance. But this year, it will likely fall short, as most days have so far. Our Katie Gibas spoke with the fair director and vendors about how the low attendance numbers are affecting business.
NEW YORK STATE FAIR -- Every day except Sunday saw a decrease in attendance over last year. And remember, day four last year is when Tropical Storm Lee swept through the region. But with warm, sunny weather everyday so far this year, vendors say business shouldn't be down as much.
"Business has been good. I have a lot of time to get orders ready and us having so many different sections of the stand, it keeps me busy as far as cooking, but as far as the guest counts, they've been down," said Amy Dinet, West Ed Bar and Grill cook.
Vendors say they wonder how much of an impact a smaller grandstand concert schedule has on overall attendance.
"Personally, I would like to see a full schedule. Having five open dates, I think will impact the draw," said Frank Desiderio, owner of Anna’s Sicilian Pizza.
"We definitely have a crew that comes in every year for those concerts, so when we don't have those concerts available, then, sure, it does affect their business," said Kim O’Casey, West End and Cahoots manager.
But Fair Director Dan O'Hara says the schedule was well thought out and vendors shouldn't be concerned.
O’Hara said, "As you put together the lineups and everything, you try to span it out, so during the 12 days of the fair, that you have a pretty consistent crowd coming versus a lot of peaks and valleys because it just helps overall with the planning."
And vendors say they're still optimistic about the rest of the fair.
O'Casey said, "We've been through it before. We've seen the decline. Certainly, the year of the hurricane and everything else and it does affect our bottom line, but somehow, this fair and the way it's being run and the way the vendors participate, as a family unit and a business structure, we always bounce back."
So with the fair just about half over, vendors are hoping the numbers will bounce back in the homestretch.