Searing heat with temperatures above 100 degrees for several days in a row cut attendance at this year's Alameda County Fair to a total of 391,426 visitors, well under last year's record-high 534,577 fairgoers.
Besides the heat, a day of rain and a weeklong BART strike also drove attendance down at the 101st annual fair, although opening day attendance of 31,389 up 2.3% over last year's 30,692.
Nearly 50,000 watched horse racing at the Fair this year, with 49,691 at the track during the fair's 17-day run and with the on-track handle up 3%.
Angel Moore, marketing director at the fair, said many events and exhibits saw increases during the 2013 fair. These included at 10% increase in competitive exhibit entries which totaled 18,764 with 4,937 exhibitors and a 3% hike in animal sales at the junior livestock auction for receipts totaling $557,847. Small animal sales brought in $39,649.
Moore said a total of 546pairs of hands washed at Sudsy's Barn, 114 dogs were adopted at Puppy Party Palooza, and there were 140 acts on four stages at the fair for a total of 170 hours of entertainment.
In the food consumed category, those numbers include: corn dogs, 100,336; funnel cakes, 44,519; turkey legs, 8,135; deep fried Nutella, 1,670; Crispy Crème donut burgers, 1,845, and pineapple upside-down cakes, 2,550.
On the horse racing scene, renowned horse racing jockey Russell Baze achieved his 12,000th career win at this year's 101st Alameda County Fair, remaining the winning most jockey in North America.
Also new this year was the fair's newly-appointed chief executive officer, Jerome Hoban, who took over just before the fair opened.
"It was an honor to be part of the 17- day celebration that highlighted our communities' accomplishments and heritage," Hoban said. "I can't wait to see what the 2014 Fair brings us."