Disasterless: A County Fair first

Neither rain nor sleet nor darkness of night stopped this year's Albemarle County Fair, which has been so weather-plagued in the past that it even drew rain during the infamous 2002 drought.

Last year, when it seemed things couldn't get any worse for the regularly drenched fest, gale-force winds blew down the big tent, closing the fair for a clean-up day.

This year? Nada.

Even in the midst of a year when hurricanes have appeared like clockwork, the Albemarle County Fair whirred along for six days starting August 31 and enjoyed record attendance with no rain.

Fair director Barbara Lundgren pegs crowds at over 25,000. And while all the bills aren't in, "We did very well," she says. However, "It didn't quite make up for the five years" of rainy weather that mired the fair in red ink.

Lundgren is perennially optimistic. "I kind of thought it would be nice," she says. But she was braced for bad weather, just in case, with the Rain Gear Fashion Show and Miss Emergency Pageant.

"It was very successful," says Lundgren. "Really, there were no major incidents at all, and a lot of people attended who hadn't been before."

So does this mean the curse is broken? "Let's hope so," Lundgren says.

The sun shone on this year's Albemarle County Fair for the first time in five years.