State fair attendance drop blamed on bad weather

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Officials blame poor weather for a drop in attendance at the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

Fair spokeswoman Jennifer O'Brien says the attendance was down 11 percent from last year during the 12-day event in February. This year's attendance was 382,418 compared to 442,910 in 2013.

O'Brien told the Tampa Bay Times that bad weather during the first weekend was the major factor in the drop. She also says chaos caused by rampaging teens could have also contributed to lower attendance.

Hillsborough County students get a day off from school and free admission on the first Friday of the fair. This year, deputies ejected 99 people and arrested 12 others that day.

One teen died while trying to cross Interstate 4 after being kicked out of the fair.


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