(INDIANAPOLIS) - 2013 turned out to be a record-setting year for the Indiana State Fair.
This year's fair saw 978,296 people through the gates - 4,394 more visitors than the previous record of 973,902 in 2009 and a 15 percent increase from last year's total of 853,941.
The fair, which just wrapped up its 157th edition Sunday, credits mild weather, promotions and new exhibits with the boost in attendance.
Among this year's attractions were the 6,510 lb. popcorn ball the fair created and placed on display. Fair-goers flocked to the Ball State Agriculture & Horticulture building to take pictures next to the ball, which measured eight feet across and broke the world record by nearly 1,500 lbs.,
Another new attraction was the Glass Barn , a 4,500 sq. ft. facility built and programmed by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. It offered interactive games and exhibits aimed at educating people about modern agriculture.
The fair says the new Kiddie Land midway and Youth Arena were both also big hits. Families with young children kept the new Kiddie Land in constant use while the Youth Arena drew thousands of visitors for livestock shows and horse and pony events.
The fair broke three daily records with crowds of 70,331 on the first Sunday (Aug. 5); 67,702 on the first Tuesday (Aug. 7); and 80,634 on the second Tuesday (Aug. 14).
Next year's State Fair runs Aug. 1 - 17.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org