By the Numbers

By the Numbers


Fairgoer Satisfaction

  • According to data from surveys conducted by Iowa Lakes Community College, 79% of fairgoers said they were “very satisfied” with the Fair (compared to 74.7% in 2017).
  • Additionally, 91.5% of those surveyed said they “definitely would” or were “very likely” to recommend attending the Fair to their friends and family (compared to 89% in 2017).

Youth Participation

  • 903 4-H and FFA exhibitors from 48 counties in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska participated in livestock and human sciences events at the Fair.
  • 1,219 third and fourth grade students from 21 regional schools visited the Fair as part of the AgCiting and SciCiting field trip programs coordinated by ISU Extension Clay County.

Fairgoer Spending

  • Fairgoer spending on food, beverage, specialty concessions, and carnival rides totaled $2,282,267.94 (up more than $28,000 over 2017).
  • Specifically, Gold Star Amusements, the Fair’s carnival provider, set an all-time Fair record for carnival ride gross sales – a 5% increase over the previous record set in 2017. 

Exhibitor Participation

  • 503 commercial exhibitors, concessionaires, and vendors showcased at the Fair (up from 497 in 2017). With 150 ag-specific exhibitors, the Fair again hosted the largest farm machinery and ag equipment show at any fair in the United States.
  • 1,398 exhibitors participated in various open class livestock and non-livestock competitions and took home nearly $100,000 in premiums, ribbons, trophies, and awards. (1,593 open class exhibitors participated in 2017.)


  • The Sleep Number Grandstand attracted 21,335 fairgoers to multiple stage performances and dirt events, down slightly from 21,831 fairgoers in 2017. The top four attended events were Lee Brice (3,195); Lauren Daigle/Zach Williams (2,973); Chuckwagon Races (2,810-two sessions); and Oak Ridge Boys/Jimmy Fortune (2,746).
  • Overall Fair attendance totaled 308,603.

Daily Attendance2018
Day 150,616
Day 248,036
Day 327,238
Day 424,349
Day 523,907
Day 625,474
Day 727,874
Day 852,067
Day 929,042

NOTE: Changes to the Fair’s ticketing procedures, including digitally scanning some advance admission tickets in 2018, allowed the Fair to create a more accurate attendance reporting model replacing the former attendance estimates.