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General News

IAFE members can check out all the news in the Breaking News section and get e-mail alerts with the Personalized Alert System (PAS).

01/22 -- 'I-Hub at the Fair' to expand into dedicated STEM pavilion -- The Erie County Fair has announced its “I-Hub at the Fair” exhibit will expand during the upcoming 180th Erie County Fair this August. “I-Hub at the Fair,” with the “I” standing for “innovation, imagination & ingenuity,” debuted in 2018 to highlight Western New York’s growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-based economy and educational opportunities. During the 2019 Erie County Fair, the I-Hub’s exhibit and demonstration . . . more -->

01/22 -- Approx. $20 million approved for 2019 MN Fairgrounds improvements -- The fair’s board of managers approved nearly $20 million in improvements and maintenance projects for the Minnesota State Fairgrounds during meetings held Jan. 18-20. The meetings were part of the annual joint conventions of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society (governing body of the State Fair), Minnesota Federation of County Fairs and Midwest Showmen’s Association at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington . . . more -->

01/22 -- Brick campaign underway for county fair's 7th anniversary -- The Crawford County Fair (PA) 75th Anniversary Committee already has had several people buy, not hit, the bricks to raise funds toward celebration of the fair's diamond anniversary in 2020. The committee has initiated a "buy a brick" campaign for the 75th annual fair — which is slated about 18 months from now, running Aug. 22 through 29, 2020 . . . more -->

01/22 -- New NJ State Fair manager named -- Kevin Mitchell remembers when he accompanied his parents "on what they called a short vacation," when his dad was also going to interview for a new job in New Jersey. "As we headed home, I asked my father when he was going to interview and he said, ‘I did. I took the job'," laughed Mitchell. The visit had been a weekend at Lusscroft Farm, when it was still being operated as an experimental farm by Rutgers University . . . more -->

01/22 -- New Northwest Arkansas District Fair manager taking over this year -- If you have been involved in the Northwest Arkansas District Fair over the last 20 years, fair manager Beverly Taylor wants you to know something: She won’t be manager this year. Taylor said she submitted her resignation from the position to the fair board in November, at which time board members said they’d heard that before . . . more -->

01/18 -- Oklahoma Nonprofits Distributing Food At State Fair Park For Furloughed Federal Workers -- Oklahoma nonprofits are coming together to help furloughed federal workers. The workers are caught in the middle of the longest government shutdown in history. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will be at the State Fair Park in Northwest Oklahoma City on Monday, January 21, with enough food to feed thousands of federal employees. “It’s scary not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Ileta Young, furloughed FAA employee. “Or even the end of the day.” Young has been off work for nearly a month, she’s going on four weeks without pay . . . more -->

01/18 -- New Marketing Program Helped Arizona State Fair Survive Hurricane Sergio -- Like several fairs in 2019, extreme weather forced a full day of closure for the Arizona State Fair and a steep dip in attendance. Unfortunately the day was a high-attendance Saturday, taking a significant toll on the overall fair. Attendance still reached a substantial 1,107,696, but still a significant drop compared to 1,136,702 in 2017. The culprit was Hurricane Sergio, at one time a category-4 Hurricane that hit the Southwest and Mexico . . . more -->

01/17 -- Changes coming to Tioga County fairgrounds -- Part of Marvin Park in Owego is getting a makeover several months ahead of the Tioga County Fair. The fair has announced, this year, it will be hosting a professionally-sanctioned rodeo for the first time ever. The Painted Pony Championship Rodeo will feature bull riding, saddle bronco riding, team roping, and a cowgirls barrel racing project . . . more -->

01/17 -- Grundy County Fair (IA) board lays out aggressive growth plan before supervisors -- As he explained his grandiose goals for the Grundy County Fair and the fairgrounds in general during Monday morning’s board of supervisors meeting, Fair Board President Jared Gutknecht didn’t mince words. He wants to be bigger, better and self-sufficient. “We want people to come to Grundy . . . more -->

01/17 -- New Wyoming State Fair board talks new schedule, master plan -- The Wyoming State Fair Board and staff have figured out a large portion of the 2019 fair’s planning, including a tentative schedule and vendor fees. The board, which was created by the legislature earlier this year, met at the fairgrounds Monday, Jan. 7, after convening for the first time in October. In addition to presenting schedules and fees, the board discussed infrastructure projects, a new master plan and began writing its bylaws . . . more -->

01/15 -- Warren Siebarth dies, had long career at the fair -- The Monroe County Fair has lost one of its biggest supporters and ambassadors. Warren Siebarth, fair manager for 18 years who retired in 2016 and who along with his wife of 56 years, Linda, devoted most of their lives to the fair, died at 4:10 a.m. Sunday under hospice care at Hickory Ridge in Temperance, where he had resided for about two weeks. He was 79 . . . more -->

01/15 -- Udder demonstration story takes first place in contest -- Fairs have the opportunity to change a life, whether it’s the life of an exhibitor, a volunteer or an attendee, Jessica Underberg, chairwoman of the International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, said during the opening session of the Wisconsin Association of Fairs annual convention on Jan. 7. And with thousands of people attending fairs each year, these events also have the opportunity to create stories and experiences that last a lifetime . . . more -->

01/11 -- Darke County Fair (OH) Board accepts $500,000 Cargill donation for construction of new barns -- One of the largest privately held corporations in the world has donated $500,000 toward the Darke County Fair Board’s efforts to build new barn facilities to house the Junior Fair’s swine, goat and dog departments. The Fair Board held a special meeting Wednesday evening to vote on whether to accept the donation from Cargill, a multi-national agricultural corporation based in Minnesota but with facilities throughout the Midwest, including Ohio . . . more -->

01/11 -- Illinois accepts $10 million bid to repair state fair coliseum -- Illinois officials have accepted a more than $10 million bid from a contractor to repair the deteriorating Illinois State Fair Coliseum. The State Journal-Register reports that Springfield-based R.D. Lawrence Construction Co. was awarded the contract Friday. The company hopes to begin construction in the coming weeks. A large focus of the renovation will be the roof. Funding for the project comes from $30 million the General Assembly allocated last year to repair the state's two fairgrounds . . . more -->

01/10 -- Clay County Fair (IA) changes free admission age limit to 12 and under -- Starting Sept. 7, the opening day of the 2019 Clay County Fair, children 12 and under will receive free admission. Clay County Fair manager Jeremy Parsons said the move is an attempt to make the fair more affordable for families and to encourage patrons to visit multiple times each year. "Historically at the fair, we charged $5 admissions for kids 8 to 12," Parsons said. "Obviously, we are going to lose tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. We made no increases to adult admissions. It is not like this is a bait and switch. With that then is the belief that families will be able to come to the fair more often . . . more -->

01/09 -- Perzee steps down as Iroquois County Fair board president -- Long standing Iroquois County Fair board president Marvin Perzee has stepped down from the position. Perzee has been board president since 1972, and he’s been on the fair board since 1966. Before that he was a 4-H leader, and even before that he was in 4-H as a kid . . . more -->

01/08 -- Long-delayed Warren County event center will be partly ready by fair -- Weather permitting, officials said a new 17,500 square foot event center and 530-space parking lot should be partially available for the 2019 Warren County Fair. The long-awaited $3.4 million development is to be built at the center of the 100-acre fairgrounds, just north of downtown Lebanon, where the grandstands stood for decades . . . more -->

01/07 -- WY State Fair officials eye eliminating concert -- With budget issues still ongoing, the Wyoming State Fair could remove a big-ticket event from its schedule in order to save money. “We’re not sure about a concert,” Wyoming State Fair Board Chairman Joe Rankin told the Converse County Commission Dec. 18. The concert has been a financial albatross for the fair, and removing it could save thousands of dollars, members of the new state fair board and staff said at a previous meeting . . . more -->

01/07 -- Montezuma County Fairgrounds (CO) gets new leader -- Longtime Montezuma County Fairgrounds employee Larry Copeland has been promoted to manager of the facility. He replaces Tanner Young, who served as manager since 2010, but resigned in November to take another job. Copeland has worked for the fairgrounds since 2011 and has a background in ranching and construction. He said the leadership transition has been smooth . . . more -->

01/04 -- Greg Chiecko Named OABA President & CEO -- The board of directors of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association (OABA) announces that Greg Chiecko, of Chicopee, MA, has been named President and CEO, effective February 1, 2019. Chiecko is currently Director of Sales at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, home of The Big E, the nation’s sixth largest fair. This announcement follows a comprehensive executive search process conducted by the OABA’s Organization Committee with assistance from a local talent management firm, Strickland Associates, following President Bob Johnson’s announcement of his intent to retire after 24 years at the helm of the OABA . . . more -->

01/04 -- Highland County Fair (OH) planning to offer new campout events -- Aiming to increase revenue and offer campers a unique opportunity inside the Hillsboro city limits, the Highland County Fair Board is introducing two new camping events this year. Actually, the first one on the calendar is completely new, and the second one had a trial run a year ago. From July 3-7 the fair board will offer a Fourth of July Campout, and from Oct. 11-13 it will offer a Halloween Campout. The first campout will coincide with Hillsboro’s Festival of the Bells and the fireworks the Lewis Financial Group, city and several others have helped staged from the fairgrounds in recent years . . . more -->