Welcome, 2009.

Nothing is more fitting than beginning the New Year with the theme that won the most votes for the 100th Grant County Fair - "100 Years, Still in the Saddle."

Sharon Livingston of Long Creek submitted this theme.

Maxine Day, OSU Extension agent, was the person who came up with this novel method of choosing our fair theme.

Good job to both of them and all the others who submitted themes. Over $600 was raised for the 100th Fair through the voting process.

The purpose of a fair theme is to unify, add excitement, and stimulate our imagination. It is used to plan the decoration of fair booths, floats and posters and it sets a mood of celebration of traditions, agriculture and families.

"100 Years, Still in the Saddle" - I think we have a winner!

For our 100th fair, we have been discussing some grounds beautification plans. A couple of the major projects being considered include a more appealing entrance at the end of Canyon Boulevard and 3rd Street and a historical mural on the Pavilion.

Of course, there are many other tasks that would improve the fairgrounds, such as enhancing our flower beds. If anyone has time to donate this spring and early summer to accomplish the sprucing up of the fairgrounds, I'd be eternally grateful.

In other news of the Fairgrounds, we received an early Christmas gift of $1,250 from the BMW Riders of Oregon for the Fairgrounds to purchase a four-speaker sound system. The Festival of Children and Festival of Trees raised over $3,500 and many boxes of canned food. The money raised is all used within the county. The gifts purchased for the Tree of Joy are bought locally, the donation to the Kamps for Kids is given to local youth, and the donation to the Food Bank is used for families here in the County.

The Fair Board will have a new member in January: Clayton Wise of Mt. Vernon. Other Fair Board members are Larry Pierce, Charlene Morris, Sharon Livingston, Austene Hendrix, Carolyn Mullin and Les Zaitz.

Happy new year, Grant County!

Stephanie Walters is the manager of the Grant County Fairgrounds.

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