County fair ends with great weather, big numbers
By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 10, 2010 1:50 AM
News-Argus/MICHAEL K. DAKOTA
David Goins advances to the final round of Saturday's demolition derby at the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair where he was eventually knocked out of contention. Thousands crowded into the grandstand to watch the derby, which was eventually won by Donnie McCullen.
With a warm, sunny day and one of the biggest demolition derbies in recent years closing out the 2010 Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair Saturday, fair manager Milton Ingram was optimistic that attendance this year would be comparable with the last few.
"Everybody's having a big time," Ingram said Saturday afternoon. "It's a perfect day to come to the fair. We had a very slow start with all the rain, but once it cleared up, we had beautiful weather all week and we've had no problems at all. Everyone's seemed to have a good time.
"We're hoping that with what we've had the last two to three days, we can make up from the first few days. We let in so many people for free we really don't have a close handle on it, but about 100,000 people over the 10-day period is what we're hoping for. I feel we're going to be real close."
Among the biggest draws this year, he said, were Hansen's Thrill Show and the Kenya Safari Acrobats -- each drawing big crowds for every performance.
Also popular were the Wicked Bulls bull riders, who filled the stands Monday and Tuesday nights.
"They did a good job. I've already asked them to come back next year," Ingram said.
He also said he was working with the acrobats to bring them or one of their sister troupes back in 2011, and of course Powers Great American Midways will be returning with all its rides, games and concessions.
One of his favorite attractions this year -- and one that seemed to be a favorite among many fair-goers -- was the hands-on, interactive demonstrations, especially the ones set up by the 4-Hers to give the young children an opportunity to experience farming.
"That was really a big hit with the little people. They'd go through there and get a sticker that said 'I farmed at the fair,'" Ingram said. "Those are the type things I really want to see successful."
But of everything that happened at the fair this week, the most important feature was something most people probably noticed, but took for granted -- the paved walkways among the local concession booths.
"Those were tremendous. It was so wet, if not for those, I don't know if we could have opened even Friday (Oct. 1)," Ingram said, also thanking all the volunteers who spent time trying to clean the grounds up after the dozen or so inches of rain that fell the week the fair opened.
The plan, he continued, is to continue paving through the midway if everything works out in the coming year.
In the meantime, though, he said he and his staff will be attending conferences in December and January, looking for new idea and new attractions to bring back in 2011.
"We want to keep it as fresh as possible. We don't want it to be the same thing every year," Ingram said.
The 63rd annual Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair will be held Sept. 29 through Oct. 8.