Misting rain at the grand opening of the Columbia County Fall Fair wasn't a bad omen after all.
The rain stayed away after the gates opened Nov. 4, leaving fair patrons 10 days of fair-weather fun and a record-breaking year for fair organizers.
"We had a good year," said Pam Randall, the president of the Merchants Association of Columbia County, which has put on the fair for 45 years. "It was real good."
Randall said 50,000 to 55,000 people attended the fair, which ran through Nov. 13. The fair averages about 40,000 people each year. Despite being plagued with rain in 2009, nearly that many people still enjoyed the fall tradition.
More fair patrons also mean more money for the merchants group, which supports charities annually and provides scholarships to seniors at every Columbia County public high school.
Randall said the financial information hasn't been finalized but she estimates fundraising also was record-breaking.
"Hopefully, we can take on a new charity next year," Randall said.
Funds are also used to improve the fairgrounds. Paving of the midway was completed earlier this year.
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