Fair concludes without typical rainy weather

CNJ staff photo: Gabriel Monte Ticket sales for the Curry County Fair totalled about $88,000.

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Preparations for this year’s Curry County Fair included roof work and chip sealing of the food court area in case of rain.

But not a drop fell during last week’s fair, a rarity according to County Manager Dick Smith.

“We might have had one morning, one evening that didn’t rain (last year),” Smith said.

Fair officials said attendance was good, with overflowing parking lots on Friday and Saturday.

Attendance based on ticket sales was estimated at 22,625, according to fairgrounds manager Justus Anderson, which is down from last year when a different counting system was used.

“In previous years, they had people standing at the gate with counters, and they were clicking off people just across the board,” he said.

The fair raked in about $88,000 in ticket sales and a record $62,436 from carnival ride tickets.

Smith said the organization of the fair has improved compared to last year.

“I think it was a home run all the way around,” he said.

However, Anderson said the parking situation needs improvement.

Anderson, who was hired in October, said parking spaces for the Curry County Event Center under construction will be available for next year’s fair. Smith expects the center to open next year and will probably be a part of the fair.

Access for the handicapped was another issue raised by some fairgoers.

“The main thing that kept coming up was the lack of handicapped parking,” he said.

A new feature at the fair was a fireworks display at the start of the week. Anderson said the reception to the display was positive for the most part.

“Some people were dissatisfied with the fireworks because it scared their animals,” he said.

Anderson also reported the number of vendors on the midway dropped. Though he doubts stricter enforcement of lease contract, which requires a $1 million liability insurance policy, played a part in the decrease.