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2018 state fair attendance down 8 percent from last year

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Officials say attendance at this year’s Illinois State Fair declined 8 percent from last year.

The fair in Springfield attracted about 369,140. However, officials say fairgoers appeared to spend more money than in 2017, according to an early look at vendors’ sales receipts.

More than 401,600 people attended the 2017 fair, up from the 347,855 that attended a 2016 event that was plagued by flooding rains, extreme heat and power outages.

State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says despite the reduced attendance officials are proud of providing friendly, affordable entertainment for fairgoers.

The Illinois Department of Revenue reports as of Aug. 31, fair vendors’ sales receipts totaled over $1,392,000, a 16 percent increase over the same date last year. Vendors have until Dec. 31 to submit fair receipts to the state.

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