Edmonton’s Farmfair International happy with 2018 event despite predicted drop in attendance

Farmfair International will see an estimated 80,000 less visitors this year, according to host Northlands. Albert Delitala, Global News

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally stated 182,968 people attended the 2016 edition of Farmfair but that was the total for Farmfair and the rodeo. The correct attendance number for 2016 Farmfair is 95,574.

It’s one of the country’s top agricultural shows but on Monday, Edmonton’s Farmfair International released its attendance figures for the weekend which showed a marked decline, although that was somewhat expected.

“We knew that Farmfair would look different this year but we are pleased with the end result,” Northlands president Gordon Wilson said in a news release. “We will continue to work with industry partners and stakeholders to ensure that Farmfair continues to meet industry needs.”

Organizers said the the 45th edition of Farmfair International, which ran from Wednesday to Sunday, drew 40,701 guests who came to see events like cattle shows and sales, equine events, the Heritage Ranch Rodeo and the RAM Country Marketplace. However, the event saw 95,574 attendees in 2016.

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READ MORE: Edmonton’s Farmfair International sees record attendance in 2016

The major reason for the sharp drop is believed to be that the Canadian Finals Rodeo, which used to take place at the same location and on the same days as Farmfair, moved from Edmonton to Red Deer this year.

Watch below: On Nov. 10, 2018, Albert Delitala filed this report on how losing the Canadian Finals Rodeo is impacting Edmonton’s Farmfair International this year.

Click to play video: 'FarmFair sees drop in attendance' FarmFair sees drop in attendance
FarmFair sees drop in attendance – Nov 10, 2018

Over the weekend, Wilson suggested to Global News that while he expected fewer people to come than in years past, he doesn’t not believe the lower numbers pose a threat to the event’s future in Alberta’s capital.

READ MORE: Farmfair International to remain in Edmonton despite drop in attendance

“The community involvement and participation in this event demonstrates the importance of food and farming to Northlands and Albertans,” he said on Monday. “Farmfair is an integral part of the future of Northlands as we embrace our agricultural roots.”

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Farmfair officials said this year’s event helped to support programs like 4-H Alberta and helped to raise money for the Cross Cancer Institute.

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