Fair attendance behind 2008 pace - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fair attendance behind 2008 pace

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YAKIMA--We're a week in to the Central Washington State Fair, but not as many of you are taking advantage.

Through Thursday, the fair welcomed 197,000 people, about 1,600 behind 2008's pace.

Fair organizers blame Saturday's fire at the former Boise Cascade Mill site, saying traffic snarls and power outages caused by the out-of-control blaze led to the decline.

"We dropped about 5,000 [people on Saturday]," Rob Phillips, fair spokesperson, said.  "We're slowly catching up to where we need to be, and with a good weekend ahead of us we think it's going to be just fine."

Phillips expects the fair to end up with similar attendance numbers as last year, when more than 300,000 people showed up during the ten-day event.