The Salem Fair wrapped-up its 12-day stay at the Taliaferro Complex on Sunday night in a downpour, but once again America’s Largest Free Gate Fair proved that it’s more than capable of surviving the rain. The 2015 edition of the fair welcomed as estimated 323,000 people to the midway this July.
“We had another fantastic two weeks,” says Carey Harveycutter, Salem Fair Manager. “Our attendance was down about five percent compared to last year, but considering the number of rainy days and nights we had, we are thrilled.”
Even though the fair failed to set a new attendance mark for the seventh straight year, there were several highlights. Opening night attendance on July 1 was the highest in the 28-year history of the Salem Fair and when fairgoers were asked to bring canned food to the midway on July 7 for the Salem Food Pantry, they responded by contributing 10,300 pounds of non-perishable food items.
In addition, Blue Ribbon participation numbers were a bright spot once again this year. Creative arts and horticulture exhibits were up 17 percent as 3,482 individual exhibits from 951 exhibitors were on display inside the Salem Civic Center.
“In this day and age, I am very proud that we have been able to not only maintain, but grow this facet of the fair,” says Harveycutter. “I commend both the organizers and participants for making this one of the most popular attractions at the Salem Fair.”
The fair also benefitted from having several new rides, shows and food vendors on the 14-acre midway to compliment the traditional favorites. Bengal Tigers, homemade ice cream and Amish donuts were all big hits with adults and children of all ages.
“Deggeller Attractions does an outstanding job for us and as result we‘re able to attract visitors to the Roanoke Valley from all over the region,” says Harveycutter. “We appreciate them supporting not only the fair, but also the local economy with their gas, restaurant and even hotel spending.”
City of Salem
Director of Tourism
(540) 375-3004 – office
City of Salem