Eastern Idaho State Fair record highest attendance in history

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Leslie Seiger, EastIdahoNews.com

The following is a news release from the Idaho State Fair.

BLACKFOOT — This year marked the 115-year anniversary of the Eastern Idaho State Fair and people from all over the region came out to enjoy the biggest event in Eastern Idaho. This year’s EISF opened for the first time on Friday, a day earlier than usual, and kicked off the highest attended fair in the long history of the event. More than 239,103 (up from 2016 record of 231,023) showed up to enjoy this nine-day event. Some of the individual days broke record attendance, contributing to this record number.

The theme this year was Bigger is Better in honor of the additional day.

Each year, the EISF sets out to build upon the amazing tradition of unforgettable food and entertainment. As always the grandstand events drew huge crowds, with this year producing more grandstand sales than ever before. The opening day started with an extra day of entertainment. Starting out the week strong with comedian Jeff Foxworthy was a paired 2-for-1 package with Bill Engvall, which happened on Thursday night and was hugely attended as well.

The Gem State Classic Pro Rodeo broke records on both Monday and Tuesday and celebrated the sixth anniversary of operating as a PRCA rodeo. Once again, Gem State Classic teamed up with the Man Up Crusade for wear purple night on Tuesday. The Man Up Crusade’s purpose is to bring awareness to victims of domestic violence. New this year was the Monster Truck Insanity, brought to the fair by Live A Little Productions.

Rock-n-roll fans came out in droves to see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts take the stage on Friday night. Jett has always said live performances are where she shines and it was obvious during the show. She sang her greatest hits and the people couldn’t get enough.

As far as the free entertainment went, Hypnotist Tyzen was a fair favorite along with the amazing Lady Houdini show. Each of these acts performed two-to-three times a day to packed crowds. Grand Champion Sponsors, Bingham Memorial Hospital and Teton Auto Group make free entertainment like this possible.

The National Indian Relay Races, intermixed with Pari-mutuel racing, did not disappoint in delivering unbelievable heartpounding action every single race. If you’ve never seen these incredible athletes ride, make plans to catch them next year. Butler Amusement set out to thrill fair-goers as well, by bringing several rides that created stomach-churning fun!

For the sixth year in a row, concessionaires competed in the Best New Fair Food and the Fairest of Them All contests.

The winner of the Fairest of Them All was Sweet Temptations with its Toffee Tumbler. Best New Fair Food- Sweets went to Creamy Creations with its Manna Banana Coconut Cone and Las Casita took the honors of Best New Fair Food-Entrée with their Carne Asada Bacon Nachos. The People’s Choice allows the people to vote on their favorite food award and Mexican Crazy Corn from El Elote Loco took home the win for the second time in three years.

“Combine the beautiful weather we had all week with the dedication of thousands of people, the most amazing grandstand shows ever and 2017 was an incredibly successful year,” says Fair Manager Brandon Bird. “I hope everyone from the exhibitors to concessionaires, sponsors to employees and especially those who attended this year’s event were able to see why ‘Bigger is Better.’ We are so grateful to be able to continue this 115-year tradition in this community.”

Make sure to follow the Eastern Idaho State Fair on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for highlights from the 2017 EISF. The EISF also invites you to share your experiences and photos that show how you enjoyed this year’s event! The fair’s website, www.funatthefair.com is always a great resource for everything you need to know.

As clean up of the 2017 fair has begun, plans are already starting to form for next year. See you Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, 2018.