By: James Pruitt
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
In an effort to reduce the amount of cash at the gate for the demolition derby, the Williams County Fair will be selling advance pit passes for the event.
The Fair Board approved a motion to make the tickets available beginning June 4 at $15 each. The sales will help the fair board determine if additional bleachers are needed to house spectators.
The advance sales will also remove excessive amounts of cash from the gates during the fair. Patrons will still be required to identification and sign a waiver.
Each person entering the pit area will need a ticket, regardless of their age. This includes children in car seats or strollers.
Purchasing a pit pass will not reserve a seat.
If advance sales reach 1,500, fair officials will revisit the matter and determine if additional seating is required. Fair officials expect the drivers and their teams will mean another 500 tickets sold.
Buildings on the fairgrounds will be receiving new locks this summer.
The fair board approved a bid for $16,051 from Larry’s Locks of Angola.
Some buildings will get new electronic locks, while others will get new key locks. The fair has hundreds of keys scattered throughout the area and needed to improve building security.
Only fair board directors and certain appointed people will have keys, Board President Dave Page said.
In other news:
The board approved a motion stating it would have $50,000 to match a state grant to help build a new barn. The fair will need the money by next March.
Board Vice President Brian Wieland said he did not want to turn down the state funding. The fair has set aside money for capital improvement that could fund the project.
He noted an earlier motion that stated the fair board would take out a loan if necessary, but was confident future fundraisers will provide the need cash.
Weiland said he has approached several organizations such as meat and pork producers for help. The fair may hold another reverse raffle in October to raise $10,000, he said.
The board established the ticket price for the rodeo program at $12. The fair will need to sell out the grandstand to break even. Two members were opposed.
A local act, Joe Vasquez, will be approached to headline a free concert for the Sunday evening show.
The board approved a cleaning contract with a local man to clean the Gillette building and the Thaman building twice a month for $125 per month.
The board approved purchasing 12 5-gallon buckets of paint for the Jr. Fair Board to spruce up various buildings. Members of the Senior Fair Board were asked to volunteer.
Board President Dave Page is leading a fundraiser to erect a 4-foot by 8-foot electronic billboard. Page said the sign will not be built until all the funding has been raised.
He has received a $5,000 donation.
The Fair Book cover this year will feature a collage of fair posters and signs from previous years.
The Athena Club has donated $750 to the fair and left it up to the board to decide what to do with. Page asked it be used for the fair this year as a sponsorship.
James Pruitt may be reached at