Attendance is down at the New York State Fair

Attendance at the first four days of the New York State Fair has been the lowest in 20 years.

The total attendance from Thursday to Sunday was 255,304 people. Since the State Fair went to a 12 day format in 1990, only two years had slower starts.

The first four days of the 1990 fair had 245,096 guests and the first four days of the 1992 fair had 253,529 guests.

In 2011, 265,783 people attended the first four days of the fair. That included a record low 27,202 people on the first Sunday of the fair when remnants of Hurricane Lee were passing through New York.

Typically, slow attendance is blamed on rainy weather, but this yearâ??s drop has been in spite of sunny and clear weather.

Concerts on the fairgrounds often bring in big numbers, but there are fewer grandstand shows this year; however, country signer Jason Aldeanâ??s show on August 31 is sold out.

Several upcoming free shows at Chevy Court are also expected to bring in large crowds including Collective Soul on August 28, The Commodores on August 31, and The Band Perry on September 2.

Holly Foti brought her family to the fairgrounds on Monday afternoon. She suspected that many family's couldn't afford to spend multiple days at the fair in a down economy.

"It's good to go once but I think it's very expensive for most families and it's school time and everyone is back to school shopping," said Foti

Looking at individual days, attendance at three of the four opening days was down from 2011.

Attendance on Thursday was the lowest opening day turnout, with 46,703 people, since the Fair began opening on Thursdays in 1990. The second lowest opening Thursday turnout was in 1997, with an attendance of 46,775. Opening day turnout last year was 51,896.

Attendance on Friday was also down from last year, with 65,086 people visiting, making it the lowest for this day since 1996. 81,548 people visited the Fair on the same day last year.

79,381 people visited the Fair on Saturday, down from 105,137 visitors last year. It was the lowest turnout since 2007 when 60,289 people visited the Fair.

The attendance on Sunday, however, was more than double that of 2011. Attendance was 64,134, up from the record low of 27,202 last year that was due in part to bad weather.