BIBLE HILL – Roger MacCallum couldn’t be happier with the way this year’s Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition went.
© Sherry Martell - Truro Daily News
The general manager to this year’s Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition has said attendance for this year’s event, which concluded on Saturday, seemed to be higher than last year’s. Last year’s general manager said the total was around 39,000. Final figures for last week’s event could be released Monday.
“It went very well,” MacCallum said Sunday, the day after the 67th annual event wrapped up. “A lot of people were happy and we had a good turnout.”
MacCallum said the exhibition commission wouldn’t have exact attendance figures until Monday at the earliest, but had been saying all week and again Sunday that each day was up over last year.
“There are only so many people in the area and they only have so much money to spend, so we’re very happy they came and spent that money here,” he said. “We looked at the crowds each day and each seemed to be up from last year.
Inviting the county’s firefighters to join the exhibition fun was a perfect fit for the family friendly offerings.
MacCallum said Firefighters Day on Saturday was one of several new events this year that attracted families to the event.
“The firemen are a big part of the community,” he said.
Another new event this year was mud bogs, held on Friday night, which attracted more than 2,000 spectators.
The general manager said this is the first exhibition he has been at the helm of and one of the highlights for him was the atmosphere of the exhibition.
“I’m having people that have been going here 15 years tell me this is the best one ever,” he said. “A lot of them have said it was a different atmosphere this year, and that it was neat and clean. And with the rides, they did a good job setting it up. It’s not confusing and people could get around.”
However, some vendors are not sharing the same enthusiasm for the entertainment lineup.
Randy Gould, owner of Main St. Shoe Repair based in Bible Hill, was one of dozens of vendors at the exhibition on Saturday.
This was the fourth year he has invested in a booth featuring leather goods at the exhibition and was set up inside the Industrial Building on the grounds.
He said while sales were good during the event it was “a little disappointing” that there wasn’t enough entertainment to draw more people to the Industrial Building stage and by his booth.
“Sales wise, I met my expectations on Thursday,” said the business owner. “There’s a fair amount of people coming around as far as that goes but there’s not as much going on here on the stage, as there should be.”
Dale Johnson of The Fudge Guys has been a vendor at the Bible Hill-based exhibition for more than 20 years and also felt there was less entertainment to attract potential customers.
“It’s (sales) pretty much on par with other years but you just don’t see as many people,” said Johnson. “There is not as much to draw people.”