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University of Minnesota Extension

Pine County Fair: attendee and participant assessment and economic value

Key findings

  • Attendees enjoy the quality and diversity of food and beverage offerings at the Fair. 
  • About 40 percent of respondents attend the Fair three or more days. 
  • Attendee suggestions for Fair organizers included being wheelchair friendly, better and safer parking, having more places to sit, more bathrooms and cleaner garbage cans. Respondents would also like to have more children's activities and rides. 
  • Demolition Derby participants are deeply engaged, attending the Fair for three or more days. 
  • Spending by attendees and event participants totals $926,610. The Demolition Derby directly contributes more than one-quarter of the spending. 
  • Businesses and vendors have positive feelings about the Fair and the Fair Board.

About this study

Like many county fairs, the Pine County Fair features 4-H exhibits, talent shows, open class exhibits, live music and kid’s activities. However, the Pine County Fair’s biggest draw is the Demolition Derby. Considered by some the “hardest hitting demolition derby in the Midwest,” the derby draws around 100 registrants each year and sells thousands of tickets.

In 2017, the University of Minnesota Extension was contracted to profile attendees and Demolition Derby participants at the Pine County Fair and to estimate the Fair’s economic value in the community. The project aimed to assist management decisions, enhance the Fair and maximize benefits to the community.

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Authors: Xinyi Qian, Extension tourism specialist; Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst; Elizabeth Templin, former Extension community economics educator

Reviewed in 2018

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