Fair attendance up, revenues down for 2018

The 2018 Montana State Fair numbers were released this afternoon and show $1,650,443 in revenues, which is down from the 2017 fair.

The Mighty Thomas Carnival set a record on July 28 with $112,451 in revenue. Over the 9-day event, the carnival grossed $642,166, which is an increase of $19,287 over 2017. Prices of carnival rides have not increased since 2014, according to Montana State Fair officials.

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According to the county, July 28 was the most visited day at the fair with 12,000 fairgoers.

Food concessionaires grossed $733,819, a 1.76 percent increase over 2017, according to the county. Their busiest day was July 28 with $112,458 in sales.

Total paid guests were up for the 2018 fair, according to the county, with 74,580 attendees. There were 71,388 in 2017.

Total revenue for fair admissions was $392,970. That was down by $771 from the 2017 admission totals, which fair officials attribute to people using discounted fair admission tickets.

The fair included 4,933 exhibits from 679 exhibitors and they were awarded $38,406.

The Junior Livestock Show and Sale grossed $52,911 this year, up from $49,367 in 2017.

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The PRCA Big Sky Pro Rodeo had 6,504 attendees over the four-night event. That’s up from the 2017 attendance of 6,382, according to the county, and the total payoff for the rodeo was $126,937.

Night shows generated $392,558, according to the county. Attendance numbers for Brothers Osborne, Midland and Michael Ray and The Temptations were not included in the release from Montana State Fair officials.

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Jeff Foxworthy had 2,523 attendees and Seether had 2,503 attendees, according to the county.

The county doesn’t include expenses for the fair in the release about revenues and attendance, so The Electric will be checking on other associated fair costs in an attempt to get a better look at the financial picture.

Fair attendance, revenues up

The 2019 fair will be July 26 through Aug. 3.

The following chart was included in the release from the Montana State Fair.
% +/-
Total Fair Revenue
Fair Gate Admission ($)
Fair Gate Attendance (#)
Food Concessionaires – Gross Sales
The Mighty Thomas Carnival –
Gross Sales