Fair board discusses meeting with promotions consultant

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

NCW Fair Board members had a successful day-long session with fair consultant Sunny Saunders Jan. 29. Saunders was hired to work with fair employees and the board on the overall operations of the fair, especially with regard to increasing sponsorship. Members discussed takeaway points from that session during their Feb. 8 regular board meeting. One point that stood out to them is the need to recognize volunteers. The board discussed some ways that they might do this. They also discussed setting up a marketing program to generate sponsorship and to get more businesses involved in the fair.

In other action, the board went over details of next month’s Friends of the Fair Crab and Prime Rib Dinner and Auction. They discussed announcing auction winners and ideas for arranging the room to help alcohol sales, the auction and the dinner run smoothly.

The fair board now has three vacant positions as Robert Vargas has decided not to renew his term. The county commissioners have informed the board that they want to wait to advertise these positions until the new fair manager has been hired. Candidates are currently being interviewed for the position and it is expected that a manager will be hired within a month.

A house on Third Street owned by the fair and rented for income in recent years has been temporarily rented.

Board President Clint Wall indicated that the fair is currently working with Romeo Entertainment to secure a country music group for this year’s fair. The group will be announced at the Crab and Prime Rib Dinner March 10.

Board members discussed the possibility of providing concessions for the Wenatchee Valley Velo Tour de Bloom Cycling event May 6. Wenatchee Valley Velo has requested concessions and the board discussed whether these should be provided by the Friends of the Fair or if they should ask another group. A number of members expressed a willingness to volunteer their time so that the group could provide the concessions as a fundraiser.

The board discussed an offer to reserve a booth for the 2019 NCW Bridal Première. Members agreed that since this year’s booth achieved six bookings for the Community Hall so far, it is a worthwhile use of time and money. They decided that they wouldn’t want to pay for the booth this early, but they do want to have it in their plans for 2019.

Interim fair Manager Ed Daling is working on guidelines for nominating people to an NCW Fair Hall of Fame. After his death in 2015, longtime fair board member and volunteer Ellis Schneider was the first person to be given such a recognition. The fair board wants the Hall of Fame to be an option for recognizing people who have made outstanding contributions to the fair, but wants there to be clear standards on the level of contribution needed to be recognized.

Daling is also working on an application for a State Fair Capital Improvement Grant to pay for bathrooms with showers on the north end of the grandstands. The facility would be useful for race and rodeo participants, those staying in the RV Park and anyone else taking part in the fair. The grant provides matching funds. Board members discussed that they would approach the county for the matching funds needed to complete the project. The application is due April 16.

The next fair board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 8. The fair board will hold a short business meeting and then work on preliminary setup for the Crab and Prime Rib Dinner.