Dan Siegel, chairperson of the Lebanon Area Fair, reflected on this year’s fair and its turnout with LebTown.

“In 2021, we sort of had a record-breaking year,” Siegel said. “So … unless everything aligned perfectly, we weren’t expecting to be quite at that target.”

Predictions of this year’s attendance were based on previous years’ attendance, the state of the economy, and other elements.

The fun slide set up near the rides and games on the fairgrounds.

The fair’s attendance, like that of many other outdoor or semi-outdoor events, is largely dependent on the weather.

“Our first weekend, we did have lighter attendance than what you would say [the] average is simply because of the heat,” Siegel said. “The attendance did pick up as it cooled down.”

Some rain and the threat of rain on Friday night also dampened attendance.

“Anytime you hold an event in July, you’re gonna have those challenges,” Siegel said. “As long as it doesn’t rain five days in a row, it all seems to work out.”

The flower exhibit set up in Center Hall.

In spite of the elements, this year’s attendance met and even exceeded the fair organizers’ predictions.

“We had just about 40,000 people come through the gates after 3 o’clock,” Siegel said.

Siegel noted that 50,000 people were estimated to have attended the 2022 Lebanon Area Fair. Admission ticket sales are used to calculate attendance.

The demolition derby on July 30 was one particularly well-attended event.

“Like when you were looking at the way the weather was, the way the weather probably held some people back from coming on Friday, everybody came on Saturday,” Siegel said. “In our fair’s history, it was definitely the busiest we’ve ever been.”

Siegel added that this sentiment was also true for the general fair attendance after 3 p.m. on the second Saturday, as people traveled to the fairgrounds for one last chance to get their share of food and entertainment.

Read More: A peek at the 2022 Lebanon Area Fair sweets and fried treats

Dusty Aleman performs in the new pavilion.

In August, after the dust has settled and the fair organizers have caught up on sleep, they will meet to discuss this year’s successes. Among the Lebanon Area Fair’s successes is its continued relevancy in the face of organizations struggling to remain relevant.

Read More: Putting on the Lebanon Area Fair is a year ’round job, sometimes more

In addition, the fair organizers will consider opportunities where change could accommodate demands or align more with the times. A recent change made was online ticketing.

“We haven’t had any major changes to our systems or anything in 2022,” Siegel said. “In 2021, we had done our online ticketing for the first time. And this year, we did improve upon that.”

In addition, the growing Lebanon population with an equally increasing interest in the Lebanon Area Fair is a demand that the fair will consider as they plan for the future.

The silent auction supports the fair scholarships.

Siegel then reflected on his involvement with the Lebanon Area Fair.

“It’s sort of a bittersweet feeling when the fair’s over in the sense that everything you look forward to and plan for is now over. But at the same time, you look back at it, and you realize why you do it, why you put so many hours and so much time into it,” Siegel said.

2022 Pennsylvania Alternate Dairy Princess Crystal Bomgardner, the 2022 PA Fair Queen Anna Haldeman, and the 2022 Lebanon Area Fair Queen Chloe Bomgardner.

Read More: A new reign: Chloe Bomgardner is crowned 2022 Lebanon Area Fair Queen

“I mean, it’s an entirely volunteer organization,” Siegel said. “Every year, it never gets old to see all these people who are so thoroughly dedicated to a common cause, a common organization. That part always amazes me.”

If interested in volunteering at next year’s Lebanon Area Fair, contact the fair office at 717-273-3795.

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Lexi Gonzalez has worked as a reporter with LebTown since 2020. She is a Lancaster native and became acquainted with Lebanon while she earned her bachelor's degree at Lebanon Valley College.