Archive for Wednesday, August 20, 2003

THS grad serves in Peace Corps

Ann Renee Low works as a volunteer health educator

August 20, 2003

Thursday evening, David Todd said the Leavenworth County Fair was going smoothly for the most part.

"Now that I've said that, the wheels will fall off," Todd also said that night.

On Monday, the fair board president revealed that the ride remained smooth in those last two days.

"It went well," Todd said. "There were very few problems."

Even the weather, with the exception of Saturday, cooperated for the most part, providing mild days and nights -- for August in Kansas.

Making money

How well the fair rated financially won't be known for at least a month. Todd said it takes between 30 and 45 days to tally receipts and pay for bills.

Most of the fair's revenue comes from the fair week itself, while less than 20 percent of the fair's annual funding comes from the county. The fair receives a small cut from the carnival, while rental of booth space also helps.

However, horses and cars pulled most of the weight.

"The fair derives its funding mainly from the admissions to events like the rodeo and (demolition) derby," Todd said.

Some money also is generated by renting buildings on the fairgrounds for social functions throughout the year.

At the turnstiles

As for attendance at this year's fair, it appeared as though the crowds increased slightly from last summer.

"It looks like overall it was up a little bit," Todd said. "Again, we base that on our parking receipts because we have no other way of figuring that out."

Not everything was improved from a year ago. The majority of the food vendors informed Todd that their sales were down this year.

Trying something new

The fair had its usual exhibits, booths and shows, but new events were introduced this year, such as the hay bale decorating contest. The exhibit attracted just three entries, but Todd is hopeful more bales will appear next August.

"I think it drew a lot of people looking at them and hopefully next year we'll have more," Todd said.

Hutch or bust

The Leavenworth County Fair might have officially concluded with the release of exhibits Sunday morning, but some entries will advance to the Kansas State Fair next month in Hutchinson.

To be eligible for the state fair, exhibitors must have won a purple ribbon at the county level and be 10 years of age, unless they are involved in livestock. Participants in the state fair also must be pre-entered.

Todd said that at least 10 head of livestock were heading to Hutchinson, while the county will have another champion vying for a hefty scholarship.

Mike Beying, a student at Pleasant Ridge near Easton and a member of 4-H and FFA, will be Leavenworth County's representative in the Ag Challenge of Champions. The question-and-answer competition will pit county winners from across the state against each other and supply the top contestant with a $2,000 scholarship.

The state fair will run Sept. 5-14.

Gearing up for next year's county fair

About 5 p.m. Sunday when Todd left the fairgrounds, the cleanup mostly was finished.

Now, the fair board will start planning for the 2004 Leavenworth County Fair.

In the next two weeks, the board will have a wrap-up meeting to discuss any ideas on what needs to be done for next year.

"It's not an official meeting," Todd said. "We do not conduct any business, but we usually have a big jug of iced tea and usually board members bring cookies."

From the brainstorming session, board members prioritize and gradually prepare for the next time they "see you at the fair."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.