- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Attendance at the North Dakota State Fair dipped slightly this year, likely because of stormy weather that affected some of the concerts, organizers said.

The fair wrapped up its nine-day run on Saturday with a concert by Aerosmith. More than 16,600 people packed the grandstand for the show, boosting the fair’s total attendance to 305,093. That was 3 percent lower than in 2014 and 5 percent lower than the 2013 record.

“Unpredictable North Dakota weather never fails to surprise us, but it didn’t stop attendees from enjoying all we had to offer,” Fair Manager Renae Korslien said.

This year was the 50th anniversary of the annual fair, which features carnival rides, food vendors, animal shows, 4-H exhibits, musical performances and other events ranging from a three-on-three basketball tournament to the state arm wrestling championships.

“One of the highlights of the year was hosting the National Corriedale Sheep Show,” Korslien said.

Aerosmith and country stars Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert were this year’s headline grandstand acts. Others included country singers Chase Rice, Kip Moore and Kellie Pickler, and the South African rock band Seether. Lambert’s concert drew more than 12,500 people and Urban’s drew nearly 13,000.

“Some of the standout nights were Miranda Lambert, who put on a great show,” Korslien said. “Keith Urban was so good to our audience, and who can deny the amazing performers that make up Aerosmith?”

Fair staff is already gearing up to start planning for next year’s fair, she said.

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