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Associated Press, Published July 30 2013

North Dakota State Fair sets attendance record

MINOT, N.D. — Nice weather was a big reason that a record number of people attended this year's North Dakota State Fair, officials say.

A total of 320,485 people paid to attend the fair during its nine-day run in Minot that concluded Saturday, a 3 percent increase over last year's record.

Cooler-than-normal temperatures this year helped draw in more people, according to Fair General Manager Renae Korslien.

"What I heard often is, 'Isn't the weather beautiful?'" she said.

Next year's State Fair is July 18-26.

"We will try and tweak things and make things better," Korslien said. "We started looking at 2014 entertainment six months ago."

Headliners this year included country music superstars Tim McGraw and Toby Keith and the legendary rock band Journey. Other fair attractions ranged from livestock shows and a bull riding competition to car races and tens of thousands of exhibits.

"While record-breaking attendance is wonderful, our goal is to have a fun, family friendly event where attendees — no matter the number — are coming and going with smiles on their faces," Korslien said.