While it is very difficult to track figures of how many people participated in the events of the fair, ticket sales for the two rodeos and the demolition derby suggested record-breaking numbers. Each of these events sold out early with packed bleachers full of enthusiastic spectators. The open horse show earlier in the week had more entrants than in the last five years.
Generous citizens help to make the fair a success. Sometimes that comes in the form of cash donations to cover costs or individuals or businesses buying an animal from the junior livestock sale to help one of the youth. Sometimes generosity comes in the form of prizes. One of the larger prizes that is given annually is a saddle donated by ConToy family trust. They donate a saddle to the Morgan County Fair queen and one to the head wrangler. The trust has contributed this amazing prize for at least five years.
Morgan County Fair wouldn’t be complete without baby royalty wandering the area. The 2012 winners were selected after having one-on-one interviews with the judges. Two panels of three judges interviewed the 52 entrants. This personal interaction allows the judges to get a better view of the babies and their personalities. The five minute dialog proved to be challenging to some typically chatty toddlers. Some kids babbled and beamed, while others shyly hid. The judges loved them all. They found it hard to name a winner, but after deliberations they brought the entire group back on stage for a photo opportunity and for grandmas and grandpas to applaud their little offspring. Each child was given a special award meant just for them. The contest was divided into four age groups. The winners in the 0-6 month group were King, Rett Huerta and Queen, Savana Stoddard. 6-12 month winners were King, Mason Sommers and Queen, Kassie Clark. 12-18 month winners were King, Taven Clark and Queen, Chloe Allen. 18-24 month winners were King, Jonathon Newton and Queen, Addi Broadhead.
Little ones under one year and not walking competed in the diaper derby. This amusing contest has tots crawling from one side of the stage to the other to prove their speed. In the boys division Jackman Manwaring was the fastest and in the girls division Whitley Wilkinson sped across the stage before anyone could reach her.
2012 is the Centennial year for 4-H and they have a lot to be celebrating. With the 100th anniversary in full swing extra focus was placed on entering projects the members had made at summer camps, afterschool programs, summer 4-H in the park, and at home. This year they had a record number of entries. Over 300 entries were on display in the exhibit building showcasing the talent of our area youth. The most popular areas of competition are foods and sewing, as well as arts and crafts. This year a 4-H afterschool program educated students in gardening. This year they have had more entries than any previous year in 4-H agriculture.
An event like this couldn’t be put on without volunteers. The committee estimates there were nearly 300 volunteers helping throughout the week. Mary Kaye Campbell was in charge of finding 24 volunteers to watch over the exhibit building during the fair. She found the job to be easy filling the spots with just 26 phone calls. Morgan residents of all ages helped put on the event by manning gates and ticket booths, providing entertainment, helping with games, judging, search and rescue, watching over exhibits and many more positions. The residents of Morgan County are grateful to everyone who helped make this event a success. Occasions like this bring us closer as a community as we enjoy festivities together. It is the perfect time to visit with friends that haven’t been seen in years or to meet new neighbors.
The Fair Committee aims at offering a wide variety of activities and entertainment but is also intent on keeping it affordable. “We try to only cover the cost,” Morgan County Fair board Chairman, Kris Krammer explained. Many activities are free and those that do cost are designed to cover the costs. The fair is not designed to make money. The goal of the fair is to provide family entertainment for everyone.
The county allocates to the fair $10,000 per year for the community event. This just gets the festivities started as the 2011 fair came in at $82,000. The 2012 fair is currently being figured. The balance is made up primarily with proceeds from the sale of tickets for the nightly events.
Krammer went on to say, “We hope people will keep coming out to support the fair.” The fair board should rest assured it can be expected that as long as the fair continues the momentum it has had for the last few years, there will be no problem getting people to come.