By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
A crowded Saturday made up for a slow week at the fair, resulting in ticket sales being nearly the same as 2012’s fair, according to Roosevelt County Fair officials.
Fair Board Treasurer David Craig said Saturday night’s ticket sales were the largest of any Saturday in the last 10 years, his records show.
He attributes Saturday’s success to the entertainment and the bronc riding activities.
“All week was down until Saturday night with the bronc riding and the Delk Band,” Craig said.
Fair Board President Chek Rippee said despite a slower week, it was hometown favorites such as country singer Will Banister who knew how to bring in a crowd.
“He’s always a big draw and the Delk Band on Saturday night was a real success for us,” Rippee said. “The weeknights are tough nights but the entertainment did a great job.”
Rippee agreed with Craig that the ranch bronc riding activities that took place at the outside arena also helped bring in the larger crowd Saturday and he’s looking forward to expanding those activities for next year’s fair.
Craig’s son Ryan Craig, a 4-H agent, said 4-H activities at the fair saw growth including the number of animal entries for the swine show being up about 15 heads as well as the participants in the Junior Livestock Sale.
“It was a good fair this year, every animal category was up,” Ryan Craig said. “Me being a new 4-H agent, the kids were great. It was a whole lot of fun.”
Ryan Craig said there aren’t many 4-H programs around the state that can compete with the county’s because of the community support.
“The experience in this county is the best you can get because of the parent and the community involvement,” Ryan Craig said. “I’ve been here my entire life and it’s never changed. We’re such an agricultural community and we support our youth and what they want to do.”
One component of the fair that Rippee and David Craig are proposing to change is the parking and access to the fair.
“We’re trying to address parking for the future, we’re weighing all of our options and what we do,” Rippee said. “We can try and get more parking. We hope to address the issue before next year and make it better for handicap and the elderly. We just want people to come out but we know parking is a nightmare.”
David Craig added that he is working with the county to designate better areas for fair parking.