Kentucky State Fair offering discounts to boost attendance - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky State Fair offering discounts to boost attendance

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky State Fair starts Thursday, and organizers are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's weak attendance.

This year, the fair is trying to boost ticket sales with deep discounts. 

Last year, rain and thunderstorms led to a drop in state fair attendance and a loss of nearly a half-million dollars. They can't control the weather, but the fair is making changes to try and improve the budget forecast.

Heather Jupin has been entering cooking contests at the State Fair since she was 10 years old. This year, it's a cake made with Sundrop soda.

"And it has two sticks of butter, so it’s going to be really fattening, and the glaze on top is made out of powdered sugar and Sundrop," she said.

Heather agrees the cake sounds wonderful and awful at the same time. For her, the fair has become a tradition.

"My family started bringing me when I was young, and we've just always come ever since," said Jupin.

This year, the fair is sweetening the pot to try to attract even more people like Heather. It's pushing advance ticket sales which offer discounts on admission and parking, but also guarantee revenue.

Also, for the first time this year, fair goers who board a TARC bus downtown at 5th and Market, get half off the regular $10 admission and, of course, there's no parking fee.

"That's what people have told us. This is a family event, there's family entertainment, it's a family venue, there's lots of fun things to see and do, but they really do need something that's affordable," said Kentucky Fair Board spokesperson Amanda Storment.

The Fair is also offering two $20-per-carload days.

"There are just a lot of different things we're doing to attract people," said Storment.

For Savoy Catering, the fair is the biggest event of the year.

"Well, our new item this year is the Philly Steak and Cheese Donut Burger," said Savoy’s Don Kenna.

Kenna says he's confident the Fair Board is doing what it can to boost attendance.

"It looks like it's going to be a good fair. Of course, it's the weather. It's weather-related," he said.

Rain or shine, Heather Jupin and her Sundrop cake will be here, and Fair officials are hoping many more will join her.

"Hopefully I win, but if not, it's fun to enter and see what everybody else does. I might have a chance. Maybe," said Jupin.

The fair kicks off Thursday morning with the traditional commodities breakfast, which is sure to attract a large crowd of politicians.

You can see more about the State Fair schedule, discounts and promotions here.

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