The Merced County Fair said paid and unpaid attendance numbers for the 119th fair jumped more than 17 percent to 65,469 over last year's 55,794.
Nearly 10,000 more people visited the fair this year than last.
Paid attendance was 46,616, up 16 percent from 2009, when paid attendance was 40,130 or 6,486 fewer people.
The fair, whose theme was "Wetlands, Water and Wildlife," also announced the winner of the 2010 Miss Merced County Fair Rodeo Queen before the rodeo Friday.
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Brittany Hart, 21, of Madera, a nursing student at Reedley College, was named new queen. She was one of seven candidates from Merced, Mariposa, Madera and Stanislaus counties.
Contestants were judged on horsemanship, personality, public speaking, appearance and promotion of the sport of rodeo. Hart received a $500 cash award and other prizes including a custom trophy saddle, crown, custom sash and belt buckle.
At the Junior Livestock Auction, more animals were sold this year, and the sales total of $335,064, that also was up from 2009.
Officials said the fair began with the Junior Horse Show at Merced College, gave tours to 755 kids in preschools and summer and scouting programs, assembled a quality petting barn with more than 100 animals, staged 11 "day of" cooking contests for seniors and juniors, introduced duck races, hosted a blood drive and put on a "Friends Helping Friends" event that was their biggest yet for 1,473 special-needs youngsters and adults and seniors from convalescent homes.
Tom Musser, the fair's CEO, said in a news release, "It was a big challenge to put together the 2010 Merced County Fair in less time than usual. Everyone worked hard to put on a quality fair that was a lot of fun with many new attractions, and fairgoers really seemed to enjoy it."
Fair officials said they're already looking ahead to the next fair, June 14-19, 2011, when the Merced County Fair will celebrate its 120th year.
They invited community members to come forward with recommendations for the 2011 fair so it could be "the best showcase of our county and our neighbors," the news release said.