More than 325,000 people visited the northwest Iowa event that bills itself as “the world’s greatest county fair.” The 2016 Clay County Fair opened Saturday, September 10 and concluded this past Sunday.
“We know that food and beverage and carnival numbers look good. We’ve had very few negative comments about the fair,” fair manager Jeremy Parsons says. “Many of the improvements we’ve made on the grounds in terms of rest rooms have been well received. Our free entertainment programming has been well-received. Concert ticket sales have been well-received, so you put all those together — it’s been a great fair.”
Country star Martina McBride was the grandstand act on the Clay County Fair’s opening night. Singer Andy Grammer, a Dancing with the Stars alum, performed the next night.
This was the 99th annual Clay County Fair and attendance at the nine-day event was down slightly from last year’s record of 330,000 visitors. Among the new food offerings were SPAM curds and a “three little pigs” sandwich of pulled pork, bacon and a pork loin.
Now that the fair has concluded, the ag building on the fairgrounds in Spencer will be torn down. The area will become an outdoor plaza with seating. A new, 12,000 square foot exhibit hall is being built elsewhere on the fairgrounds.
(Reporting by Ryan Long, KICD, Spencer)