JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Reports released Monday show that a controversy surrounding a rodeo clown at the Missouri state fair may have helped attendance numbers, despite the negative nature of the incident.
A rodeo clown imitating President Obama garnered national media attention but figures show the incident didn’t stop the fair from having a three percent increase in attendance.
Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe says the incident may have even been an incentive for certain citizens to attend.
“I’m sure there were some people who felt like they wouldn’t participate because of that and some that did participate because of it. So I guess it just depends on how you look at those things,” he said.
Admissions to the 11-day fair in August were close to 366,000, an increase of nearly 13,000 people from 2012.
Wolfe says he doesn’t condone the rodeo incident and he hopes to shift the focus back to agriculture at the fair next year.
“It certainly wasn’t something expected or planned by any means although there seems to be some thought out there that it was and that’s not the case at all,” he said. “You know, we dealt with that and we’re going to move on.”
Wolfe says they are looking at options such as stricter employee contracts to protect against a similar incident happening in the future.
“I guess there is always that possibility or that opportunity for somebody to do something that really doesn’t go along with what the fair’s about and that’s kind of what occurred this past year,” he added.