York State Fair officials blame weather, concert cancellations for steep drop in attendance

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

York State Fair attendance dropped by 34% — and officials blame bad weather and concert cancellations as the reason for the steep decline. 

The 2022 fair saw 352,077 people over the 10-day span, an almost 180,000 person difference when compared to last year, which saw 532,037. 

The York State Fair, which moved from its longtime September schedule to July in 2021 amid criticism, saw a harsh combination of excessively hot weather and rain throughout its run.

Additionally, two of the fair's biggest headliners — The Steve Miller Band and Toby Keith — canceled due to illnesses. 

York State Fair CEO Bryan Blair said officials were fighting the weather right from the start. 

“Just the threat of rain is enough to keep people from coming out at any fair,” he added.

The opening weekend of the July 22-31 fair was accompanied by a heat wave.

Temperatures during opening weekend averaged above 90 degrees with excessive humidity, according to AccuWeather.

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Three days of rain followed.

Despite the drop in attendance, fair officials are moving ahead to plan the 2023 York State Fair for next summer.

Next year's fair is slated for July 21 through July 30.

“The next couple of days will be spent wrapping up the 2022 Fair and getting the expo center grounds back in order," Blair said. "By the end of the week, we will shift our focus to planning the 2023 fair."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto. 

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