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Published: Monday, 8/11/2008

Attendance soars, sale records fall at Ohio State Fair


COLUMBUS - The Ohio State Fair wrapped up yesterday after one of the biggest days the fair has ever seen.

Fair manager Virgil Strickler said more than 104,000 people went through the gates on Saturday, the second highest one-day attendance in the fair's history. Through Saturday, about 719,000 people had visited the state fair, 9,000 more than during the first 11 days last year.

Mr. Strickler said good weather has helped attendance. There's been little rain since the fair opened and temperatures have been comfortable.

Gov. Ted Strickland attended the annual Sale of Champions livestock auction on the closing day.

He had predicted that this year's fair would be very popular among Ohioans looking for an inexpensive vacation close to home.

Price records were set yesterday in three livestock categories.

Levi Kimley of Clark County sold his reserve grand champion barrow to Meijer Inc., for $26,000, beating the $20,000 record set last year. Mr. Kimley earned $6,000 on the sale.

The fair capped the amount exhibitors can earn from their livestock sales in 1995. The extra money is put into a fund for carcass contests, scholarships, dairy cattle, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, and other programs.

Garrett Shafer of Miami County sold his reserve grand champion meat chickens for $11,500, beating the $10,100 record set in 2004. He received $3,000 from the sale to Kale Marketing and Burkhart Farm Center.

Kayla Campbell of Greene County set a record with a $26,000 sale for her reserve grand champion market beef to Steve Rauch Excavation and Demolition. That exceeded the $25,150 mark set in 2003 in another sale to the excavation company. Ms. Campbell kept $10,000 of the selling price.

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