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Associated Press, Published July 30 2012

ND State Fair sets attendance record

MINOT, N.D. — The North Dakota State Fair rebounded from historic flooding to have a year of record attendance.

Fair officials said 310,839 people attended this year's nine-day fair — 2,198 more people than the previous record, set in 2010. The banner year came after the 2011 fair was canceled because of Souris River flooding.

"I think people were ready for a good time," Fair Manager Renae Korslien told the Minot Daily News. "Our grandstand acts were top of the line. Our free stages were good. No doubt about the economy."

Grandstand entertainment this year included headliners Kid Rock, Blake Shelton and the Zac Brown Band. The rock group Foreigner helped close out the fair Saturday night. The show was delayed more than an hour when strong wind and lightning prompted officials to evacuate the grandstand.

"What a great bunch, a great band to work with," Korslien said. "They finished up about 11:15, the food court was packed and we ended it with fireworks."

The post-fair cleanup paled in comparison to the work done following last summer's flood, which swamped a large portion of Minot including the 180-acre fairgrounds.

"We repaired 19 buildings ... the State Fair Center and the grandstand were safe but the other 19 buildings were all flooded," Korslien told KXMC-TV. "That's a lot of work ... But we had a staff that wouldn't give up and they pushed through the winter. They never stopped."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Fair Manager Renae Korslien says she thinks people were ready for a good time.

The fair ended Saturday. Bad weather prompted officials to evacuate the grandstand during the final concert, but the band Foreigner eventually took the stage to help close out the fair.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.