Fans were busting down the gates in Armstrong Wednesday.
The first day of the Interior Provincial Exhibition saw 16,320 people pass through the gate. That’s compared to 16,897 in 2011.
“It was a really good start. It’s pretty much on par,” said Bryan Burns, general manager.
A large crowd was expected Thursday (attendance was not known at press time), but the swell of people will come today, Saturday and Sunday.
“It increases as the week goes on. Lots of people come out,” said Burns.
A major factor in attendance is the weather.
“Today is looking great and Saturday and Sunday are looking awesome,” said Burns.
Besides Okanagan residents, the crowd has been made up of people from Washington State and Alberta.
“We’re getting great crowds from all over,” said Burns.
As Burns made his way around the grounds, he was impressed with the positive feedback he was getting from fair-goers.
“A lot of people loved the new events,” he said.
“The Extreme Wild show and the mini-chuckwagon races had great crowds.”
Another hit has been Crazy Balls, which has children get inside a giant plastic ball and roll around in water.
But the major focus for many people has been the heart of the fair — agriculture.
“There are all kinds of things you can see whether it’s animals or fruits and vegetables,” said Burns, who is encouraging everyone to come out to the fair.
“You can spend a whole day or two days and not see everything. There’s great value for everyone.”