More than 26,000 persons attended the Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Exhibit earlier this month, making this fair the biggest in the event's 41-year history.

With the greater number of tourists (last year's crowd was estimated at 21,000) came greater traffic problems. At one point during the second day, several hundred people were turned away at the gate because all the parking areas were full, according to Lt. John Sealock of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department, which managed traffic control for the three days.

"That little town was busting at the seams," Sealock said, adding that traffic on Saturday was backed up from Waterford to the ramp at Rte. 7. Some people were upset at being turned away, but others took it good naturedly.

A Fairfax resident, who was in the first car turned away, told him, "Lieutenant, we understand. There's no problem. We'll just come back tomorrow." The next day, he said, "a lady walked up to me and said, 'do you remember me? We were the first car you turned away and we just wanted to let you know that we came back.' "

By Sunday, fair managers opened an additional, 25-acre field for parking, and the problem was solved. Spokeswoman Judy Patterson said the fair committee will study traffic problems in preparation for next year's fair.