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Planning key to success

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By Bryan Marshall

The Grant County Fair and Horse Show may only last nine days, but it takes weeks and months of preparation.

“It’s pretty hectic and it’s hot,” said Tena Webster, president of the fair board. “We just got to keep a list of things to do and keep it down to a minimum. We do have a new trailer to sell our food out of. So, a lot of our efforts have gone to fixing that up to get it ready.”

Every I must be dotted and every T crossed as the minutes tick away until the fair opens July 29 at the Northern Kentucky Fairgrounds in Williamstown.

Webster said it is important to make sure there is enough drinks and food and a place to keep everything cool in nearly 100-degree temperatures.

A new building at the demo derby track is being completed to serve as an announcer stand and food booth.
The fair board also took time to make logistical plans, including improving traffic flow to steer pedestrians away from areas where vehicles will be driving.

Kissel Entertainment usually arrives a day or two before the rides begin to set up, which they do on their own.
Webster said that not being able to control the weather is the most difficult issue while preparing for thousands to arrive at the fairgrounds.

The key is to stay organized, said Webster, who added that about 12 people show up on a regular basis to help prepare for the fair.

“The week of the fair we have a lot more that come in,” she said. “We have a lot of volunteers that come help with the nightly events at the fair. That’s probably a couple hundred people who come in and do the food booths, the pageants and all the odd jobs that have to be done. We have 29 board members. If everybody could show up at the same day at the same time we could get a lot accomplished on one day, but everybody has a different schedule.”

Being prepared for the fair also is a big job for 4-H, who host numerous animal shows and will be showcasing almost 200 exhibits this year.

“The big thing is making sure all the members know what night they are showing and that they are ready to show,” said Joyce Doyle, 4-H extension agent. “A lot of contacts are made. The projects look really good. We’re really excited.”

With a down economy, Doyle said her biggest concern is how the annual Sale of Champions will turn out this year.
To promote the Aug. 6 event, she has been trying to reach out to as many people in the community as possible.

“The economy is bad and I realize that,” Doyle said. “Businesses are not flourishing. It’s going to maybe be a down year for us. The kids have worked hard and we have more animals than we’ve had in the past. I’ve been getting out in the community and talking to different restaurants and businesses. Our community has really been great and it always turns out to be a good show.”

For information about the Sale of the Champions, call Joyce Doyle at 824-3355.

For complete schedule of events for the Grant County Fair, go to www.grantcofair.com.