There was something for everyone all week — from rising country star Tucker Beathard performing in concert to annual favorites such as the sheriff’s K-9 demonstration, fair food and rides, the demolition derby and plenty of Junior Fair shows for the whole family to enjoy.
“It went good. The tractor pull really brought a lot of people and the grand stand was just packed,” said board member Randy Miller.
That wasn’t the biggest event, however.
Saturday night’s demo derby produced “the largest crowd I've ever seen,” fair board president Bob Morgan said.
“The rough truck and demo derby brought the most people,” he added.
Attendance figures for Saturday and the week overall weren’t available Sunday, fair officials said. Those numbers are expected to be announced today.
“They were all good shows, but the demo derby (Saturday) night was just absolutely full. It was a good crowd every night. We ended up better and with more than we had last year. There were more dollars through the gate than we had last year. You never know what will draw people. You just try things.”
Morgan said he’s pretty sure the extra parking extension completed earlier this month helped with that success. Despite the extra lot, the crowd was so large Saturday, he said they were still “tucking people in everywhere, every corner we could.”
“The extra parking really took a lot of pressure off the back lot, and we’ll clear another section for next year,” he said. “It takes a lot to clear all that off —cutting down all the trees, then you have to get rid of all the stumps. It’s a lot of time. It was all summer working on that.”
In addition to yet more parking space, a few more improvements might be in the works.
“We’re always looking to improve on things,” Miller said. “Like right now, we’re discussing arrangements for (the entrance welcome board). It’s been here for quite a few years and it’s starting to fall apart.”
“Next year, this will be something different,” Morgan added. “It’s the first thing you see when you drive in here. It used to be nice, but just over time it’s falling a part. The posts are starting to shift. Make it a little nicer and try to do what we can.”
The hot weather and some “behind-the-scenes” issues posed the biggest challenges but nothing the board wasn’t prepared to help.
“With the challenges, it was a very entertaining week,” Morgan said with a laugh. “You never know what’s going to come up in the next five minutes. It changes all the time. … You try to please the most you can, but not everyone is always going to be pleased, so you just do your best to please the most people.”
In all, the board said the week went well and, after some time to “recover” from this past week, they’ll be ready to start preparing for the 2018 fair.
“It was a real good week. People came out and supported us,” Morgan said.
“We’d like to thank everybody for all their help,” the fair board president added. “There are 31 of us, but we still can’t do it all. There’s a lot of people that volunteer. Without all the volunteers, we really couldn't do it. There’s just no way. It’s just too much.”