Manager: Not too early to think about county fair

It?s not too soon to be thinking about this year?s Marion County Fair scheduled for July 28-31, according to Stephanie Richmond, fair manager.

The theme, ?Apple Pies and Family Ties,? marks the 80th year of the event, and a lot of preparation is still in the works.

?We will be having a clean-up day on the fairgrounds Saturday, April 24,? she said. ?This is an excellent community service project that serves to help people get a behind-the-scenes look at part of what goes on to help make the fair and demolition derby in May happen.?

In addition, demolition derby drivers were encouraged to attend a meeting last month to review rules.

Something new this year, she said, is the fair will be open to FFA participation.

More information about this change will appear in a later edition. Richmond said one reason she wants to get people thinking about the fair is lower entries in recent years.

?Our nursing home entries have always been low, but this year we are hoping to promote better participation and interest,? she said.

Another idea the fair board is considering is an apple pie eating contest or baking contest.

?We are still working out the details on this one,? she said.

The commercial building is another feature that the fair board hopes to improve. Some ideas being discussed include creating a kid zone and filling it up with more exhibits, she said.

The fair board meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month; meetings are open to the public.

Fair board members are Laura Klenda, Beth Riffel, Mark Meyer, Centre area; Chuck McLinden, Kelli Savage, Mike Ehrlich, Marion and Florence area; Lloyd Anderson, Joe Alvarez, Mike Duerksen, Dean Suderman, Danny Suderman, Dan Bernhardt, JoAnn Knak, Barb Hein, Jamie Peters, Marty Dalke, Larry Heiser of Hillsboro; Deb Geis, Lehigh area; Myron Regier, Goessel area and Jennifer Gaines, Peabody.

For more information, contact any board member or Richmond.

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