WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There were huge crowds Sunday during the last day of the South Florida Fair. Thousands of people were getting their thrills on rides, eating carnival food and having a good time.
"The bacon wrap, I get that first every year, every time I come," said Lydia Preston.
"It's awesome," said Michelle & Anthony, who came together to the fair from Port St. Lucie. "It's a beautiful day. We got to see some cool animals. Eat some really good food. We're about to check out the rides."
In the 100-year tradition of the fair being held in January, it had to be pushed back to May because of the pandemic. So when the fair opened May 7, organizers didn't know what to expect. But as the days went on, the crowds started to grow. The president of the fair said it was the best decision they made.
"It was a gamble for us to take on this endeavor," said Vickie Chouris, South Florida Fair president & CEO. "The South Florida Fair community, the people in our area, they really came. They supported. They enjoyed."
Chouris said the South Florida Fair is vital for the local economy.
"It really does impact our economy in a tremendous way," said Chouris. "We bring in vendors and they stay in our hotels and go to our restaurants."
For vendors like Russell Goetz, whose ice cream stand has been at the fair for decades, he said it feels good to be back.
"Good to see familiar faces. My family has been here for 54 years. We have a lot of regulars," said Goetz, owner of Goertze's Dairy Kone. "Some of them came and saw us at the mini-fair and other ones, but they have come to this one. It's going to be here and get to see friendly faces and be back in motion again."
Organizers said next year's fair will revert back to its traditional dates in January.