Hundreds of Utahns who took ribbons home from the Utah State Fair in September aren't the only ones who have cause to celebrate.

The fair itself turned in another banner year, fair officials said Friday.Final tallies show paid 1990 fair attendance was up 2 percent over 1989. The increase is notable, said fair Director Jackie Nokes, considering that 1989 attendance was 19.2 percent higher than the year before.

Nearly 240,000 paying visitors passed through the Fairpark gates during the 1990 fair's 11-day run.

Nokes said the 240,000 figure does not include exhibitors who purchased admission when they leased exhibit space. Also, it doesn't count about 40,000 children who attended the fair free with their families. An additional 17,600 people took advantage of a free-admission offer on opening day Sept. 6. The professional rodeo averaged 3,100 people per night during its three-day run.

In all, 1990 fair attendance is estimated at nearly 390,000 people.

Fair carnival revenues were up 13.5 percent. Food sales increased almost 5 percent, and the grandstand concert series earned an estimated $15,000 profit.