Not far behind are the free pony rides, a survey of fairgoers indicated. The results were presented during a recent Event Center board meeting.
Exhibits topped the list, as nearly half of survey respondents, 46 percent, picked that aspect as most liked. Pony rides tied with free entertainment in second place, at just over 37 percent.
Nearly 30 percent expressed support for the free concerts, while just over one in four cited the PRCA rodeo as their attraction to the county fair.
The ice cream tent was listed by 22 percent, while the carnival was a favorite with 21 percent of fairgoers.
Other events included the 4-H Junior Livestock show, at 18.42 percent; demolition derby, listed by one in six respondents, Dutch oven cookoff by 11.51 percent, free movie (which wasn't offered this year) by nearly 9 percent, and the pinewood derby, in its second year, chosen by nearly 7 percent.
Word of mouth from family or friend was the most successful way for people to hear about the fair, at 39.14 percent. Not far behind, however, were newspaper ads, listed by nearly 36 percent. The Davis County Clipper was one of this year's major fair sponsors.
Other sources to learn about the fair were far down the list, percentage-wise: entertainment guide and fairbook, 17.1 percent; billboard, 13.1 percent; and radio, 11.1 percent. Only 8.2 percent listed TV as their initial information source, lower than the Web site, at 10 percent.
Event Center director Dave Hansen said 12 vendors completed a survey, with comments "mostly positive."
"I enjoy the fair each year and enjoy coming back," one vendor wrote. "I would like to see the 'big' crowds make their way over to our section," the vendor added, referring to rodeo, demolition derby.
Another vendor said "better advertising" was needed, this year, claiming 2005 had more publicity. "Most of the people I talked to didn't even know the fair was going on."
That vendor also said he or she lost, financially, when booth fees vs. sales were figured. At least two other booths lost money, overall, that vendor said.
"There were too many free things," another vendor wrote.
Another survey responder said he'd been told some visitors would not return to the fair because they had to pay for parking.
A $2 per vehicle fee was charged for those wishing to park in a paved, on-grounds parking area. Fair director Dave Hansen said about $4,000 was made from the parking, which was handled by a professional firm.
Some vendors said they believed the fee for parking resulted in lower sales.
Admission to the fair itself is free.