The 2007 Grant County Fair theme that received the most votes at the appreciation dinner last week was "Pride in our Past, Faith in our Future". Our 2007 grand marshals are Gene and Barbara Officer, two lifetime county residents who have been actively involved in the fair and 4H both personally and through their real estate business. Gene was the fair manager in the mid 1980s.
At the Appreciation Dinner, I mentioned to those attending that we welcomed constructive criticism regarding the fair and the fairgrounds. I think we can all learn and grow through these types of discussions. Can things be different or better? Probably, there is always room for improvement and different people bring new perspectives.
An excellent example of working together was seen at our last board meeting. A 4H leader came with concerns about the 2007 fair date and the stress it will place on the kids, parents and leaders trying to coordinate with the sports schedules etc. Gary Delaney from the Extension Office suggested a possible solution. The fairboard could hire one or two extra livestock judges. This would allow the youth to show their animals from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM each day. The fairboard agreed they would provide the additional judge(s) as suggested. These discussions don't always yield results that please each person, but the benefits of these discussions far exceed reactions that cause hard feelings and don't achieve compromises.
It does take money to run the fair and the fairgrounds as it does at other event and facility management operations. The fairboard has been entrusted by the County to ensure that the fair and the fairground are around for future generations. The fairground is not supported directly by property tax. The county fair and the other events held throughout the year provide much of the money to run the fairgrounds. In more populated areas, fairgrounds rely much more heavily for their revenue on the other events besides the fair held throughout the year. It would be nice for us not to be concerned about the fair income, but we don't have that luxury.
You can help by getting involved. We need the support of the county residents to continue to improve the fair and the fairgrounds for the future. "Pride in our Past, Faith in our Future."