Ionia Free Fair breaks records in attendance

Ionia Free Fair sees record breaking attendance.
Ionia Free Fair sees record breaking attendance.(Kaylie Crowe)
Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Ionia Free Fair saw a record number of people in attendance in decades. Around 400,000 people were in attendance compared to years past at 300,000 to 350,000 people. These breaking numbers are helping in the recovery of the local economy. Organizers say they pulled the event together in just 8 weeks after COVID restrictions were lifted.

“There were a lot of improvements that need to be made if you can imagine fast track planning in 8 weeks. There’s some things the board knows that will need to be improved but those improvements will be made and we anticipate the momentum going into 2022 is going to make it a really good fair,” said Ionia Free Fair Spokesperson, Raul Alvarez.

Last year’s cancellation resulted in all of the fair staff being laid off and this year board members had to volunteer to fill the space.

“That’s what it took for the fair to happen this year. Because they had no staff. Now one of the first priorities for 2022 is to staff it again,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez says he is just excited to make a come back. He tells News 10 guests were excited things were returning to normal.

“There were hour, hour and a half, wait times on some of the rides and yet people didn’t complain. People were like yes I waited an hour and a half but I’m just glad to be back,” said Alvarez.

The board will be making major improvements for next year like better Wi-Fi, plumbing, and infrastructure. They will also be improving their ticketing system to accommodate the larger numbers of sales.

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