A reader of The Missourian said the Washington Fair is geared toward the more affluent. She certainly is entitled to her opinion. We don’t agree with her, especially after doing quite a bit of “people watching” during the Fair that just ended.
You can’t tell positively who is affluent as to how they are dressed and their overall physical appearance. Yes, looks can be deceiving.
However, call it eyes of experience and we would venture that 80 percent of the people who pay to get into the Fair are not in the affluent category. Many, many parents are there with their children — not one day but several. Children ages 5 and under were admitted free. There are many youngsters age 5 and under who attended the 2013 event. Over 5 years, they paid $30 for a five-day ticket, which covers all carnival rides, contests, entertainment, including the big-name entertainers. The adults were charged $43 for a five-day season ticket. Many of the youngsters are at the Fair all five days — costing them $6 a day.
For adults, single-day admission tickets ranged from $15 Wednesday and Thursday to a high of $25 on Saturday. A Sunday ticket for adults was $20. The children single-day tickets ranged from $10 to $15, depending on the day. For an all-day of Fair fun, that’s not bad.
Of course, there were charges for food and drink and other items that were sold.
We are not saying that the admission prices are cheap, especially for large families, but judging by the crowds that attended each day, the prices were affordable. People pay more for one concert than what a season ticket for an adult costs. Five days of entertainment and fun for the children, you could call the Washington Fair prices very reasonable.
Many families include in their budgets money for the Washington Fair each year. Most are not in the affluent category. They learn to be good money managers.
It is surprising to see the many mothers pushing baby buggies at the Fair. We also observed a number of older people with canes, several in wheelchairs, or some type of motorized transportation. It really is a Fair that has events for all ages, with something entertaining going on all day long and at night.
It has been said many times and it’s worth repeating — the volunteers who operate the Fair pay to enter the fairgrounds and to work. Some of the more active ones take vacation days at their regular jobs to work at the Fair.
The Washington Fair is not just for affluent people. It’s for everybody, and from the attendance, people must think the prices are worth what is charged. They come back year after year, and enjoy it. It is a great event for children.