Fair needs feedback, volunteers, not just screams from rooftops

The Marion County Fair wasn’t quite to the granger as some remember it in the past. The Marion County Fair Board responded with a simple request on social media – what do you want to see at the fair next year that might move the needle.

The response from the fair board is a good one. If attendance was low and people weren’t necessarily happy with the product, then going out and crowd-sourcing is smart, but it’s not the only solution to what the board needs.

No one wants to hear this, but sometimes the truth hurts: Events are hard to put on, and they are even tougher when you can’t get a clear idea of what people want. Then you have to balance what people want with what people can afford. It’s not an easy business.

The board might need to shake things up, but shaking things up always frustrates the crowd of people who like things the way they are. Therefore, you are stuck in an impossible place of maintaining for the current crowd and trying to bring in people with new events and ideas.

A small board of a few volunteers won’t be able to fix this alone, so rather than floating ideas out with little to no substance to them – give some real feedback and provide a solution or two that is actionable if you feel the need to give your feedback. Even better, provide the feedback and then volunteer to lead a task force or just the event itself. This type of feedback is useful and can be used to change the way the county fair works.

With a shrinking population base, fewer and fewer resources, and the issues listed above, the fair board needs to have as much information, and volunteers as possible to provide the best fair they can.

If you are interested in providing the fair board some feedback and real solutions to what could make the fair better or get you to come/stay longer, then look up the discussion on their Facebook page, or even better (at least for us) shoot us a letter to the editor and use the opinion page of this newspaper to get a discussion started with the entire county.

The county fair is a staple in this area. What helps it move forward is up to the people of this county. Let your voice be heard.

– Joey Young, Publisher