Vendors and fairgoers speak on low crowds at state fair

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There’s a lot of excitement for the opening weekend of the state fair, although not everything is quite back to normal yet after it had to take a year off due to the pandemic.

Vendors said the crowds were much smaller the first two days, but they’re seeing more people this weekend and they hope that trend continues.

“Busy, busy we did quite well yesterday,” said Lester Paris, a vendor.

Paris said he’s happy crowds are picking up, but he was nervous those first days.

“The first two days were kinda a little rough and now people are starting to show up, and it seems like a lot more people are getting used to seeing folks out at the state fair,” said Paris.

It’s not just vendors noticing the slow uptick in crowds.

“The numbers look good are we down yes absolutely but that is to be expected with everything that is going on but we expect those numbers to keep climbing,” said Dan Mourning, general manager of Expo New Mexico.

While vendors and organizers are excited to see people start pouring in —other fairgoers were liking the small crowds.

“Its very different because the crowds aren’t here and you can get right up to any ride or go buy any treat or food without waiting in line, its wonderful I think,” said Mary Romero, a fairgoer.

While some things are the same, like the turkey legs — other parts of the fair are looking very different – like the 4-H barns — that moved down to Roswell.

“It would all be full of different animals, I always remember the mama pigs and the babies its so fun to watch them,” said Mary.

There are still some animals at the fair, people can see sheep get sheered—or be greeted by long horned cows on the road—just not the 4-H shows.

There is still have another week of the state fair, just remember to bring proof of vaccination at the gate, organizers said they’ve had no issues so far.