Despite severe weather Saturday evening and hot temperatures for much of last week, Phelps County Fair board members are calling this year's event successful.
Despite severe weather Saturday evening and hot temperatures for much of last week, Phelps County Fair board members are calling this year's event successful. “We think it was a success despite our problems with the weather,” said, Rhonda Borders, 2012 fair board president. “We regret that the storm shortened our night.” “It was (successful) other than the storm Saturday night,” said Renae Silvio, fair board vice president. “I can't complain about the rain,” Silvio said, noting that it was much needed for farmers and “that's what we're all about — agriculture.” The four-day fair wrapped up Saturday evening. Crowds were down this year compared to previous years, Borders said, and she attributes the decrease to the heat. However, “we think the people (who did attend) had a lot of fun,” Borders said. Severe weather that included some reports of hail on Saturday night impacted some of the events, such as the demolition derby and a performance by country music star Rick Trevino. The demolition derby started later than scheduled, but fair organizers were still able to get the event in. Much of Trevino's equipment was wet, “so a lot of equipment couldn't be plugged back in,” Silvio said. Trevino still was able to walk out onto the demolition derby arena and sing a few songs though, Silvio said. “He (Trevino) was an awesome person. He (and his manager) wanted to do anything that would help out,” Silvio said. New events this year, including the diaper derby, ATV rodeo and BMX/bike races were successful, board members agreed, noting that they will be held at future fairs. Borders said the diaper derby didn't have many participants because it was a new event but said the parents really enjoyed watching their toddlers. “The ATV rodeo was very well attended Friday. It ran three hours long and there were so many participants,” Borders said. This year's fair queen was Lauren Kane, who was crowned the first night of the fair. Her court this year included Megan Janece Studdard, Fair Princess; Anna Dobcinski, Junior Fair Princess; and Adrianna Stagner, Little Fair Princess. Winners of the Little Mr. and Miss Phelps County Pageant were Bryar Vega, Baby Miss Phelps County; Evan Eldredge, Baby Mr. Phelps County; Emme Knorr, Toddler Miss Phelps County; Chason Satterfield, Toddler Mr. Phelps County; Kandence Conger, Little Miss Phelps County; and Luke Thomas, Little Mr. Phelps County. Belinda Hilderbrand, treasurer and board member who helped oversee the barns, said the number of livestock entries was down this year at the fair, meaning that sales of livestock at the auction Friday also was down. This year, the fair board instituted a new method of selling by working with area markets to set a floor price. Buyers were then given an option of paying their bid price or letting the animal go to market and paying the difference between the floor price and the bid price. The purpose of this new method was to assure the young sellers were receiving a fair market price. Hilderbrand said the floor prices really helped this year despite the number of entries being down. Hilderbrand complimented the 4-H and FFA groups for their assistance. Borders said plans for next year's fair are already under way. “We welcome anyone with an interest in the fair to join our board,” Borders said, noting that elections for the board are held in September. Closer to next year's fair, the board will be looking for volunteers. Silvio noted that events for the fair are scheduled based on negotiations with companies and groups as to when activities like the tractor pull are available. “We try to stay in line with other towns around us, too,” she said. Borders said the fair board wishes to thank everyone who came out to the fair as well as the volunteers and sponsors.