Deep-fried Kool-Aid, pig races and rocking concerts brought in a record number of visitors to the San Diego County Fair.
Organizers said attendance totaled 1,412,113, beating last year’s record by more than 70,000.
“We are pleased we broke our all-time attendance record once again, making fair history during a still-sluggish economy,” said Tim Fennell, general manager and chief executive officer of the Del Mar Fairgrounds. “Because of these challenging times, we were proud to present a venue that provided a great value for our guests,” he said.
The fair’s biggest gate was Sunday, when nearly 89,000 people went through the turnstiles, making it the seventh-busiest day ever, Fennell said. Almost 102,000 turned out on July 3, 1998, to set the one-day attendance record.
About 100,000 of the deep-fried Kool-Aids that were the talk of the fair were sold, according to organizers, as were 40,000 deep-fried Oreos, 40,000 deep-fried bacon pieces, 20,000 deep-fried avocados and 20,000 deep-fried frog legs.
The fair also saw a big increase in the use of social media. Between June 1 and Monday, nearly 61,000 fair videos were viewed on YouTube, compared to almost 13,000 in 2010.
The fair’s official website received more than 1 million visits, compared to nearly 800,000 in 2010. The number of Facebook “friends” more than doubled to over 14,000, and Twitter followers nearly doubled to almost 2,600.
The 22nd District Agricultural Association, the state agency that owns the fairgrounds and runs the fair, is scheduled to meet in September to decide whether to extend the event an additional two days next time around.
More on this year’s fair: