Our Past | 1992: Nelson is new fair manager

Selected by Karen Larsen

The following excerpts are from an article about former NCW Fair Manager Larry Nelson that ran in the pre-fair coverage featured in the Sept. 3, 1992 edition of the Douglas County Empire Press. 


Running the Fair

By Nadra Rivers

New Manager Larry Nelson is preparing for his first NCW District Fair and also looking ahead to more.

“I’m excited about fairs,” Nelson said, “We have to keep working on the agricultural and educational aspects for the kids and family to come and participate to make them a success. I view the fair as a park where families come for fun and education.”

Nelson is busy seeing that the buildings and grounds are ready for the 1992 fair. He was hired by the fair board as both fair manager and maintenance superintendent and began his duties on April 27.

He previously had worked four years as a concession coordinator for Monroe’s Evergreen State Fair, the second largest fair in the state.

Living in Monroe for the past 14 years and also working as a youth club director gives Nelson a background in youth interests and their importance to the success of the fair.

A 1972 graduate of the University of Washington, he has worked as a state correctional counselor and served as a director of the Monroe Boys and Girls Club, an affiliate of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Many of the projects entered in fairs keep children and teenagers involved throughout the year, Nelson said, and also bring in parents, grandparents and community volunteers.

Funding is always a problem in the fair business, and Nelson said the loss of Longacres Race Track, south of Seattle, will affect all the fairs through 1994 and 1995. The blow to Northwest horse racing poses a challenge for the fairs, he said.

Looking to the future of the NCW Fair, Nelson said he would like the fair board to establish some definite short- and long-term goals for the grounds and buildings.

He also said he wants to be sensitive to what the Waterville community wants for the fair, as the town is an integral part of the success of events held at the fairgrounds. The 4-H Club camps and junior rodeos that were held here this past summer are natural activities for the grounds, he said.

Nelson’s wife Cathi teaches fifth grade at Waterville. They have two sons. Ryan, 15, is attending Waterville High School, and Adam, 19, is a student at Western Washington University.