In all, 226,692 people passed through the gates at MetraPark from Aug. 9 through Saturday. It's the best attendance the fair has seen since 2015, when the county broke records drawing in 236,200 people. Last year, just over 219,000 people attended.
"Weather plays a role," said Ray Massie, MetraPark's marketing and sales director.
For the majority of the nine days of the fair, the weather was hot and the sky was clear. The major exceptions were the hailstorm on Aug. 11 and Saturday, the final day of the fair, which was overcast and saw unseasonable temperatures in the upper 60s.
"That last Saturday ate us a bit," Massie said.
Attendance that day was down compared to other days of this year's fair, but it was bigger than last's year last day. The county took in $61,000 more on Saturday than it did on the same Saturday in 2018, when a steady rain kept many fair-goers away.
Overall, Massie expects total revenue from this year's MontanaFair to land right around $2 million when all the counting is done. That's down just slightly from last year's $2.1 million.
The fair's concert lineup had performances from current country band Old Dominion; the Triple Threat Tour, which included legacy country bands BlackHawk, Restless Heart and Shenandoah; and ’90's-era pop band 98 Degrees.
"Old Dominion was huge," Massie said.
The concert drew in over 6,000 people, nearly double the attendance of the Triple Threat show, which brought in 3,600 people. The 98 Degrees performance was the lowest attended at a little over 2,000, Massie said.
Combined, roughly 17,000 people attended the fair's night shows, placing attendance right in the middle of the pack for the past five years, the third best showing since 2014, Massie said.