WILMINGTON — In a mid-week update to county commissioners, the Fairboard president highlighted how well a different rides company is being received by fair-goers and the mechanical inspector.
Fairboard President Scot Gerber related that the official ride inspector, after eight or nine hours of inspecting the rides on-site, told him he doesn’t have to worry about this ride company. The company is Triple Treat Shows, an amusement rides, games and food provider based in Cincinnati.
“The quality of what we’ve got out here is just huge,” Gerber said. “We’ve heard it from people around the fair this year. They’re comfortable bringing their kids and grandkids up here and putting them on the rides. And so I think that [securing this rides company] was a big step for us this year.”
Later, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed said he has a 12-year-old son who gives a thumbs-up on the rides at the fair this year.
Commissioners complimented the Fairboard members present for the meeting held Wednesday morning in Expo Hall on the fairgrounds. Steed spoke of the fair having an “uplifting mood,” and Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty told Fairboard members they have created “a great culture.”
Commissioners President Brenda K. Woods publicly thanked the Fairboard members for all their hard work — for which they do not get paid.
Fairboard Treasurer Scott Milner noted this is the second year for the fair to have a pay-one-price approach. As recently as the 2017 county fair, the gate admission was $8 and then there was an additional cost to obtain a ride band to go on the rides.
“That [change] was kind of a culture shock for most people,” said Milner. The gate admission is $10.
Fairboard member Josh Nickell said this is the third year for dirt drag racing and it is growing in the number of entries. The first year there were he believes 218 entries; the second year there were “right under 300” entries; and as of Wednesday morning it appeared there would be between 350 to 400 entries this year.
Fairboard members Ed Schmid and Brian Georges recapped the Monday and Tuesday evenings harness racing. Moving harness racing from Sunday was a benefit, said Schmid, because it eliminates a conflict with Sunday’s traditional Junior Fair horse show. The lack of overlap provides more stall space for harness racing people, he said.
One of the state harness racing commissioners visited the Clinton County Fairgrounds Tuesday. The state official is very pleased with how the race track here is laid out and how it is maintained, reported Schmid. Horsemen and women like to race on the surface here, he added.
Similarly, Georges said “outside horsemen” say it’s one of the better fair racetracks when it comes to quality of surface.
There was a minor accident during the harness races, he said. The female victim was released from the hospital, he reported.
An idea for next year is to get local businesses a bit more involved with the harness racing. That’s based on some other fairs having something like a Chamber of Commerce Night at the races, and “it really seems to draw people in,” said Georges.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.