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Hamilton County Fair Attendance: Worst Ever

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Only 7,500 people visited last week's Hamilton County Fair – the worst attendance in the fair's 155 years.

It's half the number of people who flocked to the Carthage fairgrounds last year. It was already the poorest-attended fair in Southwest Ohio.

"It's the worst we've ever had," said Dick Ingle, fair manager and secretary of the Hamilton County Agricultural Society board....


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I well understand the problems with the location of the Hamilton County Fairgrounds - I drive past them on the way to work (and wouldn't take my family there for an evening at a county fair).

But there are many, many other problems as well. The county itself has become much more urban/suburban and less agricultural/rural over the years. There are a plethora of other entertainment options for the local population even if you exclude the major items like KI, Reds, Bengals, Coney, Zoo. There is very little to no advertising that tells you why you'd want to go to the fair.

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Well, I know a few years back, I was hearing rumors that the fair might have been moved to Coney. Of course, nothing ever materialized from that as it ended up being just rumors.

Coney wouldn't be a bad location. When I was little, we used to have our Boy Scout Jamboree there and it would attract thousands.

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Another possible location would be Harvest Home Park in Cheviot (for those who don't know the significance of this place, see http://www.harvesthomefair.com/).

The only issues with moving it would be:

1. What do you do with the existing fairgrounds? I'm sure the Carthage location was rural when the fairgrounds were built, but it's not a great neighborhood now, and definitely not the easiest place to find for those not familiar with that part of the city.

2. Where would you hold the demolition derby, tractor pulls and other "spectator sports"? If it moved to Coney, would River Downs be able to handle those sorts of things?

The location is probably the biggest problem - it's not a great neighborhood and there's limited parking. The other problem though is the time of year when fairs are typically held. August is not known for being a cool month in Cincinnati, so maybe they need to look into the possibility of providing more shade for fair visitors. I haven't been to the Hamilton County Fair in years, but as I recall, there weren't a lot of shade trees on the property, at least not to the extent that there are in Butler County.

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