This year's hot and humid Franklin County Fair drew slightly less than last year's.

This year's hot and humid Franklin County Fair drew slightly less than last year's.

The fair, which took place July 17-24, drew around 46,000 people, down from last year's 48,000 attendance, said senior fair board member Allison Rushley.

"We attribute that to the weather, with the storm and the heat wave that came through," Rushley said. "We can't control the weather, and the weather can either be very good or bad for a fair. I thought I was going to melt by the end of the fair."

"It's too hot. It's keeping people away," said Franklin County Agricultural Society secretary Tim Shade from the Fairgrounds on the muggy evening of July 22.

Despite the heat, the 93rd edition of the fair went well, Rushley said.

"Mutts Gone Nuts was a fabulous daily show. They always had a lot of people there watching it. So did (comedian-juggler) Mike Hemmelgarn. In the grandstand, the rodeo barrel- and bull-riding was a big hit. In the entertainment tent, our Idol contest was huge again this year, and growing in numbers."

Also popular was Ohio Championship Fighting. "We had about six fights that night. We were very happy with the crowd that showed up in the grandstands," Rushley said.

Although the truck and tractor pull got off to a late start July 22, it started on time the next evening, Rushley said. Games, rides and food vendors appeared to be doing well, and the local TV stations all covered the fair.

The Ohio State Fair, which began yesterday (July 28), is not seen as competition, despite their closeness in dates, Rushley said.

"The clientele that comes to our fair is different than what the state fair brings in," Rushley said. "We're more of a family fair. It's really a good time for families."

The Franklin County Agricultural Society was organized in 1851 and held its first fair later that year.

The fair has been held at various locations and was held for the first time in Hilliard in 1918.

Membership in the society is open to any Franklin County resident 18 and older who pays the $25 annual dues, and includes admission to the Franklin County Fair.

Rushley said the society will start planning for next year's fair in September.