This year’s event was a success and plans are already underway for next year. The N.C. State Fair closed Sunday with a total attendance of 965,297, good enough for third-highest all-time. “I always judge a fair by how much fun people are having, and it looked like people had a great time at the 2012 State Fair,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. Preliminary estimates show that fair patrons brought in more than 213,000 pounds of canned food to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Competitions remained a popular feature of the State Fair, including a record 9,000 entries in the flower and garden shows. The livestock, horticulture, and arts and photography competitions also had high participation. Troxler said organizers will soon begin planning for the 2013 N.C. State Fair, scheduled for Oct. 17-27.