|Weather, crowds make for great fair|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Saturday, 27 August 2011 01:43|
Kaden Dorn, son of Chad and Trish Dorn of rural Wauneta, participating in the open class lamb show last Wednesday in Imperial.
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Glowing reviews and compliments keep coming the fair board’s way after another grand Chase County Fair, which ended it’s week-long run Sunday.
While the fair featured a great line-up of activities for the week, the weather may have been the biggest contributing factor to the success of this year’s fair.
Temperatures backed off much of the week with only one or two days in the 90s. And while rain was forecast for Friday and Saturday night, the only event affected was the Christian Family show Wednesday night.
Imperial skirted storms on both Friday and Saturday nights when the grounds were especially busy due to the respective rock and country shows.
Fair President Dave Schilke said each night of the shows drew large crowds.
REO Speedwagon sold 75 percent of the tickets available Friday night, making it a successful night.
On Saturday night, the combo of The Band Perry and Craig Morgan surpassed Friday’s attendance with those bands selling 82 percent of capacity.
Entertainment Manager Dan Kunnemann said the walk-up ticket sales for the Friday and Saturday night shows helped push the entertainment into the black.
On Saturday night, Kunnemann said walk-ups accounted for 16 percent of the total ticket sales for the concert. He thought that was probably the highest walk-up sales they’ve ever had for a single show.
They each felt weather played a big factor in the strong attendance. Several years ago, the fair board expected strong walk-up sales for Alice Cooper. However, that didn’t happen due to a rain storm that hit before the concert.
Many of the concessionaires surveyed after the fair said their sales exceeded last year’s totals.
Last year was a record year for the Eagles. Coordinator Travis Heiber said this year’s sales slightly exceeded last year’s record.
The Lions Club reported a new record for bingo sales this year as well. They exceeded their previous high, which was set in 2007.
The expo grounds were filled to capacity again this year. Expo Manager Ed Cupp said vendors reported slower traffic on Wednesday and Thursday with things picking up Friday and Saturday.
He said retailers in the expo hall reported this was one of their best years in terms of traffic and sales.
The grounds got an unplanned boost of traffic Saturday when the motorcycles arrived on 7th Street for their show west of the fairgrounds and found vehicles parked in their spot.
With no other options, they moved the show to the main walkway entering the fairgrounds. As it turned out, it proved to be the perfect location, with lots of foot traffic. Expo displayers said it helped their traffic as well.
The fair board will discuss whether to keep the show at its new location.
Based on the number of cars occupying parking both north and south of the grounds and people at the shows and on the grounds, attendance as a whole appeared to be up over the past several years.
The Chase County Fair is the highlight of the year for many area youngsters and Gunner Goings, left, and Tommy Bley are no exception. The Wauneta boys enjoyed time spent on the rides and the midway last week.
2012 fair dates
Schilke said next year’s dates will correspond with this year, the third week of August.
He said they’ve had some requests to hold some events on the Saturday before the fair normally starts. He said the fair board will discuss that soon.
Assuming that happens, Schilke said the dates of next year’s fair will be Saturday, Aug. 11 through Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012.
With the completion of the Chase County Fair, Kunnemann will head to Grand Island this week for the Nebraska State Fair. It opens Friday and will run through Labor Day Monday, Sept. 5.
Kunnemann is a member of the state fair board. This marks the second year the state fair will be held at its new venue at Fonner Park in Grand Island.
For more information and schedule of events for the state fair, go to www.statefair.org.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 01:48|