SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The 2021 Illinois State Fair had over 472,000 visitors, making it the second-highest attended fair since the tracking reports started in 2014.

According to officials, attendance at this year’s fair was surpassed only by the historic records set in 2019. The first weekend of the 2021 fair saw attendance numbers increase by more than 15,000 people compared to 2019.

“The record attendance at this year’s state fair marks not only a successful return to the fairgrounds but a return to treasured traditions, community competition, and family fun after a difficult year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Most importantly, the Department of Agriculture and the organizers of this year’s fair were able to welcome us back safely with strong COVID protocols in place  – making sure the health of fairgoers came first as we enjoyed all the fair has to offer.”

“We were happy to be able to hold the 2021 Illinois State Fair after it was canceled in 2020 and now seeing many people came out to enjoy it with us is really special,” said Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. “Obviously this being the first fair after 2019’s near record-setting year for attendance, the bar was set pretty high. I think being able to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic and safely bring back so many families to the fairgrounds is a great accomplishment.”

Officials said grandstand ticket sales saw over 44,500 tickets. This generates more than $1.5 million in revenue. Overall revenue numbers are not final, but the 2021 Illinois State Fair is estimating an overall revenue of slightly over $5 million, ranking ninth for total revenue out of the last 20 years.