BlackHawk will appear at this year’s NCW Fair

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The 2018 NCW Fair will feature BlackHawk as the headlining group for the grandstand show Aug. 24. The contract was announced at the April 12 regular fair board meeting.

BlackHawk was founded in 1992 by Henry Paul, Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson. The group was signed to Arista Nashville in 1993 and released its debut single, “Goodbye Says It All,” that year. Other Top 5 hits followed including “Every Once in a While,” “I Sure Can Smell the Rain,” “Down in Flames” and “That’s Just About Right.” At the height of the trio’s success, Stephenson was diagnosed with melanoma in 1999. After his death in 2001, Paul and Robbins regrouped and returned to the album charts. BlackHawk continues to record and tour throughout the country, backed by an all-star band of country musicians.

Fair board president Clint Wall expected tickets would go on sale May 20.

The company providing online ticket sales has worked with the fair to discover the glitch that caused some tickets to be double-sold for last year’s Neal McCoy show, according to Wall. They believe that online sales are on track to go smoothly this year.

In other fair planning, the board is considering bringing back an older tradition of having a theme for each fair. Board members were asked to vote on three options — “Pioneer Days to Modern Ways,” “Country Pride, County Wide” and “Discover the Fun.” The results of the vote will be tabulated before the May meeting. At that point, the board will brainstorm ways in which they will incorporate the theme of the fair into the fair’s activities and promotions.

The fair board also discussed the crab feed and prime rib dinner held on March 10. Members said that they heard positive comments about the food and they believed the manner in which the various tables were called to line up for dinner went well. There was some discussion about the auction and members agreed that there should be a more decisive beginning to the auction so that all guests are aware when it starts.

The group also discussed the possibility of selling entire tables to individuals or groups as this could create more revenue than selling seats individually. It might, however, limit the number of individuals who could be accommodated for the event.

Board members have decided to provide concessions for the Wenatchee Valley Velo Club Tour de Bloom road race to be held in Waterville May 6. Group members are planning to volunteer in two shifts to sell the concessions.

The board voted to add extended stay rates for the fair’s RV Park. Rates are currently $20 per night. The extended rates will be $120 per week and $400 per month. They also voted to increase the rates for tent campers for the week of the fair from $20 to $30.

The board voted to decrease the damage deposit for rental of the community hall from $1,000 to $350. Since renters are required to carry insurance during their rental period, the $1,000 deposit was thought to be excessively high and seemed to be a burden for many renters.

The Gone Country 4-H Club will be working at the fairgrounds on April 21 to clean the horse, pig, sheep and swine barns and to replace some latches.

The fair may receive a grant from the Department of Agriculture through the State Fair Fund for capital improvement projects. The board is looking at spending these funds on a bathroom/shower facility near the race track and on a cover for the pig, goat and sheep show area.

The county has provided some light fixtures and there are plans to have these installed down the midway to improve safety and visibility.

The next fair board meeting will be held at the community hall at 6 p.m. May 10.