Fair shows strong numbers notwithstanding inclement weather

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IMPERIAL — Attendance at the Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta was slightly down this year compared to last year according to the fair officials. The 98,000 that crossed through the turnstiles was 3.5% less, however, that is not bad considering the fair was closed the first Sunday due to high winds and rain.

Helm & Sons Amusements, the operators of the carnival and rides had an excellent run due to the strong presale ticket sales, but their overall take was down 4 % over 2014, again, due to the lost day.

However, those who ventured to the ten day fair brought their appetites as food concessions increased 3.5% from 2014.

The Inspiration Gallery and Doc’s Barn continued to be popular venues for fair goers. The Inspiration Gallery hosted many ‘Make-it-take it’ workshops as well as displayed the exhibits from very talented juniors.

Doc’s Farm increased in population by 5 baby calves born at the fair, including a pair of twins, 2 bull calves that the public could bottle feed, and 1 baby lamb. The adult and baby pigmy goats, peacocks, and the always-entertaining adult and baby goats, rounded out the menagerie.

Making the fair “green” the Heritage Foundation made arrangements for 663,000 pounds of used shavings to be hauled to Imperial Compost rather than go into the landfill.

The fair is proud that 58 local groups showcased their talents, and the ever-exciting Redneck Rodeo event with 44 participants competing for cash prizes.

Sprint car racing featured 72 cars and was a fitting way to end the successful county fair. The cherry topping was the Junior Livestock Auction and Barn sale, which set another record of 100 sales more than the previous year, with 749 sales, all totaling an estimate of $1,858,756.