Four-day attendance at the Maui Fair rises 2 percent compared to last year

Attendance at the four-day Maui Fair that wrapped up Sunday was up 2 percent from last year to 94,980 people, according to preliminary estimates.

Fair Managing Director Sherri Grimes said Tuesday that the figure included people who came through the gate for the 91st fair that ran Thursday to Sunday and included attendees of the annual Special Fair on Friday for people with disabilities.

Asked about reasons for the growth in attendance, Grimes pointed to the increase in units in the fair parade. Under first-year parade director Jamie Cardoza, there were 78 units marching down Kaahumanu and Kanaloa avenues Thursday – 13 more units than last year.

Grimes served three years as fair director, before the role was reorganized and she became the fair managing director. She has served in the latter capacity for four years.

This year, fair officials decided to add an honorary fair director to be a part of the festivities. The honorary director was University of Hawaii Maui College Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto.

Grimes was upbeat as she spoke Tuesday evening from the fair office at the War Memorial Complex.

“Still having fun,” she said.

She said she has several more fairs in her as she sets her sights on the centennial fair in nine years.

“That’s exciting,” Grimes said.