The 101st Lake County Fair went off smoothly, surpassing last year’s attendance and sales numbers despite flooding, trucks getting stuck in the mud, and having to redesign the midway layout days before opening.
“We are still tallying final numbers but we are already up about 5,000 more people from last year,” Fair Manager Stacey Wade explained.
“Even though we had to shift the carnival, we were able to re-group and I think we knocked it out of the park. I heard several people say they actually liked the new layout better.”
Sales at the FFA and 4-H livestock shows were also up, bringing in around $550,000 that will go toward future projects for kids
“Everything this year was up, up, up,” Wade said. “Even our art barn and kids art had a lot of really beautiful pieces turned in.”
The quality of entertainment provided at the fair each year is one reason Wade believes it continues to thrive.
“We always say ‘It’s about quality, not quantity,’” Wade said. “Our entertainment was top notch and we are catching the attention of other fairs across the country. So much so that they are asking where we found these entertainers.”
Many of the performers in the show are former theme park performers with decades of experience.
Fans of Sweeney Boys and Robinson’s Racing Pigs will be treated to their comedy routines and down-home country routines.
The Space Adventures Thrill Show, with its death-defying stunts and educational content, was a pleasant addition to the show.
Kardenni, a local magician, delighting audiences with his sleight-of-hand tricks, and Deep Fryd Funk rocked the kitchen with his beats.
The Lake County Fair won national awards last year, and Wade will compete again this year.
“I think we definitely have some award-worthy material,” Wade let out.
“Especially Deep Fryd Funk who worked with the food concessions and dressed up like a different one each night to promote the different fair food.”
Wade and her team continue working even though the gates have closed and the rides have moved on.
For the next four weeks, they will be analyzing livestock and art competition results and distributing award money, then they will turn attention to next year’s Lake County Fair.