WILMINGTON — Gate receipts were up for three of the first four days of the fair, Clinton County Fair Board Treasurer Shane Smith told county commissioners Wednesday.
As is customary, Clinton County Fair Board members gave a mid-week update about the county fair to commissioners who come to the fairgrounds for the report.
Gate receipts Saturday were more than $48,000; on Sunday they were $19,040; on Monday, $16,560; and on Tuesday the figure was $10,400. Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Monday’s numbers were higher than the same days last year, while Tuesday’s was lower, reported Smith.
There were other numbers shared with the commissioners. Saturday night featured one of the larger demolition derbies the county fair has ever seen, said Fair Board member John Fankhauser.
Forty-seven cars took part in the first heat, and about 36 cars in the second heat of the derby.
Fair Board member Greta Gray said there were approximately 735 entries in the photography event, with 89 exhibitors, 26 of whom were youth. There were about 30 items in the fine arts.
There were 220 hogs in Tuesday’s open swine show, she said. Of those, 60 were purebred.
Fair Board member Ed Schmid, in charge of harness racing, reported over 100 horses on the first day of racing, and close to that on the second day. All told, there were 15 races on Monday, and 13 on Tuesday.
Schmid thinks Clinton County has one of the top-notch harness racing tracks in the area. That was proven, he said, on Tuesday evening when a rainstorm hit. The work crew was able to get on the track and remove probably over 90 percent of the water off the track, he said.
New Fair Board member Josh Dixon said the fair, to him, is about family.
“That’s what this place is supposed to be wrapped around — family activity, livestock, 4-H, FFA, and training up the next generation. If you look around, if we don’t invest in the next generation we’re going to be in some serious trouble,” said Dixon.
Accordingly, he sees the annual agricultural county fair, 4-H, and FFA as investments in the family unit.
Gray said there was no contest involving Senior Fair baked goods this year because of COVID-19.
Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed noted camping on the fairgrounds during the fair is a revenue generator for the Clinton County Agricultural Society, and added the comment that camper vehicles “are getting bigger and bigger.”
Fair Board Vice President Jason Vance said they are running out of room for the size and number of campers. In addition, he said some of the camper vehicles need more electric than the fairgrounds can currently provide.
“We need to start looking at electric [capacity]. The electric has been here a long time,” he said.
Toward the close of the meeting, Steed said “… the fair is part of who we are. It’s part of our heritage.”
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.