One week after deadly Ohio fair accident, vendors say crowds are subdued

The Fire Ball amusement ride after it malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair. (CNN)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Wednesday marked one week since the horrible accident at the Ohio State Fair. Vendors said the crowds have been smaller and sales are down significantly this year compared to last.

Joyce Konrath has been operating Joy’s Corndogs for nearly 40 years at the fair.

“I like to think we originated the fried cheese on a stick right here,” she said.

Her stand is right across from the fireball ride. It’s a sad reminder of what happened opening day.

“This has been a tough year, you know it started out pretty good. We thought we were going to have a great fair. We’ve had a decent fair, but you know it’s been a little bittersweet,” said Konrath.

She said it’s one of the slowest years she came remember.

“Our best year was two years ago and this year’s been you know just kind of average,” said Konrath.

The fair is a summer tradition for Columbus resident Chase Fickell.

“I come every year. I love the fair,” he said.

 He said this year isn’t the same.

 “It’s definitely got a different vibe to it, but I think the Ohio State Fair is notorious around here and people are going to come.”

 Lore Breitenbach came for the fair food.

“Eating one end to the other, that’s how we roll,” she said.

 The victims were also on her mind.

 “It’s a little more somber I think,” said Breitenbach.

Last Wednesday, the fair reported attendance of 44,996, up from last year’s 43161. On Thursday and Friday, those numbers were down considerably.

Saturday, the fair reported attendance of 100,228, up slightly from 98,976 in 2016.

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