ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Sunny days and brisk advance ticket sales combined to make this year's Alaska State Fair an attendance record breaker.
Attendance was up 8 percent compared to last year. This year, 304,653 people visited the Palmer fairgrounds, a record for an 11-day event. The 1998 fair, which ran 18 days, drew the highest number ever, with total attendance at 361,804.
Dean Phipps, the fair's marketing director, said there were indications that this would be a good year. Several concession stands ran out of food, while fair managers opened an overflow parking lot to a steady stream of cars.
Fair officials were delighted that advance ticket sales jumped 28 percent from last year. More than 17,000 fair-goers purchased discounted tickets, guaranteeing their attendance come rain or shine.
Fair officials are considering adding shuttle bus service to and from Anchorage next year.
Fair officials already are planning for next year's fair, with the theme: ''2001 A Moose Odyssey.'' The artwork and poster designs will be unveiled in February, they said.
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