By Linda Kor
As the newly elected members of the Navajo County Fair Board took their seats last Thursday, veteran members of the board reported on the outcome of the events that took place during the 2012 Navajo County Fair.
With the final expenditures accounted for, the total cost to put on the county fair this year came to $185,731. Of that cost, approximately $60,000 is covered by the Governor’s Fund and $40,000 comes from the City of Holbrook, with the remainder coming from the earnings made at the fairgrounds from events and sponsors. “It costs a lot of money to put on the fair and involves a lot of hard work by volunteers,” stated President Mike Sample.
Jake Hatch is the director over the skid steer competition and lawnmower races during the fair. Although the event was a success, he’s hoping for a greater turnout next year. “I’d like to see a lot more kids at the event. It’s a way for kids to get excited about doing some work instead of sitting in front of video games and texting,” he said. Hatch went on to explain that a clinic would be held during the first or second week of April at the fair-grounds that would involve taking a stock riding lawnmower and converting it into a racing mower. “It’ll be an opportunity to learn how to build your own,” he added.
Redgie Justman related that entries in the open class exhibit increased, and more entries went on to the Ari-zona State Fair than ever before.
Trent Larson added that the demolition derby brought out a good crowd, and that volunteers are always needed to assist with the show.
Sample presented the figures for the fair that showed the open class drew 2,453 entries, the Junior Livestock competition had 432 exhibitors, the Little Buckaroo Rodeo had 76 contestants and three teams competed in the Ranch Rodeo. There were also 567 rodeo contestants, 50 vendors and 13 entries in the demolition derby.
Sample also reported that Arizona Public Service Co. has completed a portion of the electrical replacement work being done at the fairgrounds and will be moving on to the small arena, where test lighting will be in-stalled. “They plan to put in 20-foot poles for the lighting, but we’re going to have to talk about making those poles taller,” he informed the board.
The board also discussed whether to allow the Holbrook Painted Desert Kiwanis Club to continue manning the main gates for ticket sales during the fair, or to go out to bid for the service. The matter was originally brought up during last month’s meeting when the Navajo County Master Gardeners club asked to be considered for the job.
“The Kiwanis is a loyal group to the fair, the money they earn is not only used to benefit the community, but a portion is also given back to the fair. I say if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” stated Rusty DeSpain.
Sample echoed that sentiment, saying that the back gates and box office gates for events could be offered to the Master Gardeners if they were interested.
The board unanimously approved a motion to allow the Kiwanians to continue to operate the main gates without going out to bid.
Sample also informed the board that an offer was made on a metal building that has been up for sale at the fairgrounds. The building was originally listed at $15,000, then reduced to $12,500 when no offers were made. The only offer received was by an individual asking to purchase the building for $9,500.
“What I want to know is should we sell the building at this price or put it back out to bid?” asked Sample.
After a brief discussion it was agreed to accept the $9,500 bid offer and leave the building up for bid for another 30 days.
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By Linda Kor