NCW Fair honors superintendents

Floriculture superintendent Terry Conners and Food Preservation superintendent Marla Madson go through the buffet line at the NCW Fair superintendent barbecue July 18. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

 

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The NCW Fair is coming Aug. 23-26 and the fair board and staff want to make sure the grounds are ready.

At the July 12 regular fair board meeting, the details of a Beautification Day on Aug. 4 were discussed. It is hoped that groups and individuals will participate in the event. Those interested should RSVP by calling the fair office at 745-8480. Lunch will be provided.

The fair is also seeking nominations for the county commissioners’ annual award of Volunteer of the Year. To make a nomination, contact the fair office.

The fair held a superintendent barbecue on July 18. The event was an opportunity to show appreciation for the exhibit superintendents and to give them time together. In addition to enjoying a meal, the superintendents went through their barns and made maintenance requests, and looked through their supply bins to see if they had all the materials they needed.

NCW Fair Manager Carolyn Morley told the fair board that she is reaching out to advertise to the Hispanic community this year. The fair plans to advertise with Bustos Media, which operates a Spanish-language radio station in the area. They will continue to advertise on other radio stations in the area as well.

Morley also said that the fair will provide discount codes for the fair sponsors, which they can issue to their employees. The codes will allow employees to purchase reduced-price tickets. The fair is also looking at issuing coupons to a number of other local agencies, including hospitals and larger businesses. Morley believes the increased ticket sales that these promotions generate would make up for the reduced price of the individual tickets sold.

Fair staff were present at Waterville Days and sold T-shirts there. Morley received positive feedback regarding the fair staff’s presence at the event.

Ed Daling, former interim manager who continues to serve the fair as maintenance director, said that the open air cover for the show ring, which is being funded by a Department of Agriculture grant, will not be able to be completed before this year’s fair. He is hoping to go out to bid for this project and a new rabbit and poultry building in the fall.

The fair board discussed the possibility of handling the demolition of the old rabbit and poultry barn themselves. They decided that when they advertise for bids on the project, they will request bids both including and not including the building demolition.

The fair board discussed their policy regarding service animals in the barns. Service animals sometimes create a problem with the show animals. It was decided that people with service animals will need to check in at the fair office to be issued a permit before going to visit the exhibits. If there is a problem with a service animal in a barn, the superintendent could ask the owner to take the animal out of the barn.

The premium book and fair poster have been completed and are being distributed.

There are still openings in the RV park and camping area for the fair week. The fair board decided to allow individuals to purchase more than one spot if they need additional space.

Fair staff and fair board members have had several people call regarding the new policy on charges for exhibit animals. Under the new policy, each large animal will be charged $15. The charge for poultry, rabbits and cavies will be $5 per exhibitor per type of animal (poultry, rabbits and cavies). Most of the calls received related to pygmy goats and whether they should be considered a large or a small animal. It was discussed that pygmy goats have always been charged with the large animals.

Morley introduced the idea of starting a harvest festival at the fair during the fall. The festival would involve help from the local community. The fair board and Morley will look into this idea.

Recycle bins will be provided for plastic bottles and aluminum cans during this year’s fair.

The next fair board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 9.