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Owners Deem Opening Weekend Of State Fair A Success | News

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Owners Deem Opening Weekend Of State Fair A Success
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For the first time in more than a decade, Russell Edwards from Milledgeville spent the day at the Georgia State Fair.

"So far it's a nice layout," he said. "Its a little bit more comfortable, a little bit more spread out, and so far the quality of the food's been good and the rides have been fun."

He and his family are part of an estimated 20,000 people who attended the fair over the weekend.

"I would say that was a success considering how hot it was," said Mark Lovell, President of Universal Fairs, the company that took over ownership this year. "We'd like to see at least 50 thousand people through here by the end of the week," he said.

He says he hopes to keep that momentum through the week, and in coming years.

"We don't expect to double and triple it right off the bat, but we'd like to see a nice little increase every year for four or five years," said Lowell.

Eventually Lovell hopes to get 100, 000 people attending, but he says he has to fight the perception that the fair is filled with violence and trouble makers.

"Just because it has been that way in the past, does not mean it has to be that way in the future," he said. "And so I think my job is to get rid of that negative connotation."

And to do that, he's brought on about 50 security guards, Macon police and Bibb Sheriffs to enforce a zero-tolerance policy. Lovell says it's all part of a simple formula for a successful fair.

"Make it clean, safe, family friendly, and give them a lot of value for their money."

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