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2021 South Texas State Fair turnout was 'unbelievably positive'

Fair organizers said that the comeback, "surpassed their expectations."

BEAUMONT, Texas — Sunday, May 31 was the last day of the Southeast Texas State Fair, and organizers of the 10-day event felt a sense of relief seeing their two-year planning succeed despite many concerns.

The 2020 South Texas State Fair was canceled when Jefferson County Judge Jeff Brannick announced a disaster declaration due to the coronavirus outbreak. The declaration prohibited any event that would attract more than 200 people, and the fair was set to bring in over 300,000.

Organizers of this year’s fair pushed it back from late March to late May due to COVID-19 health concerns.

Despite concerns of a low turnout, especially considering the last days of the fair fell on a holiday weekend, organizers said that the comeback surpassed their expectations.                                                                                           

“We really weren't sure about Memorial Day weekend, folks coming out, and leaving for the holidays,” Robert Jacobs, an organizer of the fair, said. “But, folks here in Beaumont and Southeast Texas are coming out.”

After a hard year in the food industry, the fair provided vendors with a much-needed revenue boost.

“The turnout this year has been just unbelievably positive, “Penny Campbell, Roger Westmoreland Concessions vendor, said. “I know that the gate numbers according to the YMBL the gate numbers are up, and the patrons are just happy to be back out.”

The fair also brought back a sense of normality after a year in quarantine.
“I am happy to see Texas open back up and be able to have life back to normal,” Campbell said.

Vendors, organizers and attendees are already looking forward to coming back next year.

The South Texas State Fair will be back next year and is expected to be within its normal time frame, which is from the end of March to the first of April.

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