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Counting crowds

Thousands of people will take over downtown Fargo today for the annual event dubbed the Valley's favorite. But how does the Downtown Street Fair's popularity compare to other big events in the region?...

Downtown Street Fair

Thousands of people will take over downtown Fargo today for the annual event dubbed the Valley's favorite. But how does the Downtown Street Fair's popularity compare to other big events in the region? Here's a breakdown:

Downtown Street Fair

Fargo

Attendance 2007: 120,000.

Attendance 2006: 90,000 to 100,000.

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Length: 3 days.

How attendance is calculated: Going in the skywalk or downtown buildings and doing people count estimates from above at various hours during the fair.

Annual economic impact: The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau hasn't calculated an impact, due to the difficulty of tracking out-of-town visitors.

Described as: "The Valley's favorite annual event."

N.D. State Fair

Minot

Attendance 2007: 248,501.

Attendance 2006: 247,970.

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Length: 9 days.

How attendance is calculated: Counting the gate passes required to get in.

Annual economic impact: $35 million.

Described as: "The most anticipated event of the summer."

Norsk H¸stfest

Minot, N.D.

Attendance 2007: More than 50,000.

Attendance 2006: More than 50,000.

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Length: Five days.

How attendance is calculated: Tracking tickets sold and given away.

Annual economic impact: $9.5 million.

Described as: "North America's largest Scandinavian festival."

Red River Valley Fair

Fargo

Attendance 2007: 100,000 to 120,000.

Attendance 2006: 100,000 to 120,000.

Length: 9 days.

How attendance is calculated: Carnival numbers, grandstand tickets sold and people count estimates.

Annual economic impact: The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau hasn't calculated an impact, due to the difficulty of tracking out-of-town visitors.

Described as: "Great fun, it's only fair, the Red River Valley Fair."

10,000 Lakes Festival

Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Attendance 2007: 15,000.

Attendance 2006: 15,000.

Length: 4 days.

How attendance is calculated: Number of paid patrons with tickets.

Annual economic impact: Estimated at $1 million to $2 million.

Described as: No slogan.

WE Fest

Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Attendance 2007: 48,000 per day.

Attendance 2006: 48,000 per day.

Length: 3 days.

How attendance is calculated: Wristbands distributed to enter the event.

Annual economic impact: $20 million.

Described as: "Feeling great in 2008!"

Street Fair details

Forecast

Today: Partly cloudy. High: 83. Friday: Mostly sunny. High: 82.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. Afternoon and evening scattered thunderstorms. High: 87.

Hours

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Transportation

Metro Area Transit is offering hassle-free transportation to the street fair with its Park-and-Ride Program.

Park your car for free in any of the designated lots and ride to and from the street fair for 25 cents each way.

The following parking lots are park-and-ride locations:

- South University Kmart, Fargo

- The Hub, Fargo

- Sunmart on Seventh Avenue North, Fargo

- Skills and Technology Center, Fargo

- West Acres mall, Fargo

- Moorhead Center Mall

- EasTen Kmart, Moorhead.

Buses will run regularly. Detailed bus schedules and pick-up locations are at www.matbus.com .

Sources: Event organizers and local convention and visitor bureaus; Compiled by Teri Finneman / The Forum

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