A few months ago, the Buena Vista County Fair was in jeopardy - in fact, it crossed the minds of some that maybe there wouldn't be a fair this year due to the financial problems the board faced.
Since then, a near-entire new group of people has stepped up, with a conviction that the fair will continue as a source of family entertainment as wel as a showcase for the efforts of 4-H youth.
As the opening date nears for the fair's run, it seems that their commitment has paid off. With innovation, if not a large pot of funds, they feel they are making the 121st event one to remember.
"Plans are going wonderful," said board member and secretary/treasurer Nancy Robbins. "Everything is falling into place."
The group has been meeting for several months, and replacing leaders who have stepped down. Four more new members have joined in the last few weeks, bringing their number up to 17.
The fair board has planned the event around the theme, "An Old Fashioned Fair Sounds Like Fun" and will include many events and activities that were popular in fairs past.
There will be no carnival or rides; they have had to brainstorm on new ideas to keep crowd interested.
"There are things that will appeal to everyone. We've sat down and asked the question, 'What do you think others will enjoy?" she said.
Kids games - such as tug-of-war and shoe kick which were part of the 1988 fair - will be brought back, with others added to them. And paintball - which seems to be growing in popularity - will be available for those wishing to participate in tournament play or as an open event. (Contact North Lake Truck Repair to sign up tournament teams.) Sky High Bounce inflatables will be set up for bouncing fun.
Motor sports seem to be the most popular form of entertainment at the Buena Vista County Fair, past experiences have shown. The board will be bringing in monster trucks, go-carts, Endro cars, stock cars and demolition cars.
The Fitzpatrick Classic open horse show, hosted by the BV Equine Team 4-H Horse Club, will provide part of the fun on Friday night's run, followed by music by, "100 Proof," sponsored by Scooters Bar and Grill, all under the grandstand.
Many of the tried and true popular events will be back this year including Ladies Day, the baby contest, the watermelon feed, and the free appreciation supper. The popular Brian Staples Animal Magic Show and Exotic Petting Zoo will also be back.
4-H'ers will again be front and center. The fair wouldn't be a fair without the goat and sheep show, the rabbit show, dog show, swine show, poultry show, beef show, and small animal show. The pie baking contest, always an awesome fundraiser for the county 4-H clubs, will be held during the free supper and the popular Ag Olympics is sure to please crowds.
"It's because of the 4-H'ers," Robbins said. "We want to keep things going for the kids so that they can showcase the achievements they've had throughout the year."
The Allerdings family of Alta will be operating the food stand this year. Robbins said non-profit groups and organizations are encouraged to have stands at the fair as well. Does your group make snow cones or funnel cakes? They are welcome any or all days.
Or if food isn't your thing, how about setting up a carnival-type game or two? Local non-profits are invited to do so and keep the income.
The Buena Vista County Fair Queen and Little Miss will be crowned this year on the final day of the fair. Entries are still needed! Call Amy or Amanda Meyer at 284-1007 if interested in being a fair queen candidate. If you wish to enter your young daughter as a Little Miss candidate, call the Meyers or Nancy Robbins at 286-5018.
And the open class will again be waiting for the young and old to share their plants and flowers, arts and crafts, photography, sewing, needlework, cooked and baked items or fresh produce.
A season pass for the fair is $4 for ages 6 through adult or $1 for daily passes (5 and under are free). Except for the Enduro and the demo derby, which cost an additional $7 per ticket for adults or $3 ages 6-12, events are free.