Glorious weather, three rodeo performances and, maybe, an improving local economy added up to record-shattering attendance at the Stock Show on Saturday.
The event attracted 154,400 visitors, blowing away the previous single-day record of 126,000, set in 1986.
"Our objective is to continually give Stock Show patrons more value for their hard-earned dollar," said Brad Barnes, Stock Show president and general manager.
"With the many new activities this year, including the collaboration with the three museums, we feel we met the objective. In addition to [the Stock Show] being a popular, time-honored tradition, the weather yesterday could not have been better. This combination resulted in a record-breaking attendance day."
Attendance for the same Saturday last year was 93,000 -- the largest single-day figure for that run.
Cumulative attendance at this year's Stock Show is also up over last year. At this point in 2010's show, total attendance was 539,100. This year, that figure stands at 696,900.
And the vendors at the Stock Show are loving it.
"Yesterday was the best day for sales in our 20-year history at the Stock Show," said Marie Quijada, owner of La Paloma, a booth dealing in beaded clothing, jewelry and accessories in the main exhibits hall. "There was a line as soon as we opened and sales continued until closing."
Based on the attendance figures thus far, Stock Show officials hope that total attendance could surpass 1 million, which would be the highest total in the 115-year history of the event. Last year's total was 920,000.
The unknown factor in this attendance surge, however, is the Super Bowl. It is difficult to know whether attendance was helped or hurt by the Super Bowl-related activities downtown and elsewhere, or how Stock Show attendance in the coming week may or may not be affected.
The Stock Show is also ending one day earlier this year, on Feb. 5, so it does not have to compete with Sunday's big game.
But no one's mind seemed to be on football Saturday.
"Overall, this year is by far the best year yet," said John Glowinkowski, owner of Frontier Fruit and Nut.