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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - North Suburban

Ticket prices offset County Fair sales slump

An increase in ticket prices offset a 3 percent decline in attendance and helped this year's Erie County Fair achieve a net income of about $1.24 million, members of the Erie County Agricultural Society were told at their annual meeting Wednesday.

Dennis R. Lang, fair manager and society CEO, said rainy weather was mostly to blame for the attendance drop, rather than the $2 price increase or nearby road construction.

The fair generated income of $5.45 million and expenses totaled $4.21 million, according to the report of Richard K. Campbell, treasurer.

Almost all of the money will go toward off-season improvements and repairs to the fairgrounds, and for next year's event, Campbell said after the meeting.

The numbers compare favorably with 2004, when income was $5.3 million and expenses totaled $4.1 million, he said.

Attendance totaled 855,662.

The 2005 fair was one of the safest ever and the level of cleanliness improved, Lang said.

The Keith Urban concert drew 8,500 fans and was one of the largest shows ever at the fairgrounds, he said.

The 2006 fair will continue with the fairy tale theme and use the slogan "The Magic Continues." The 167th fair is scheduled Aug. 9-20.

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