October 30, 2014

Fair President says fair attendance down

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — Official numbers from the 2011 Arenac County Fair will not be in for another month, but Board President Bill Daniels said attendance at this year’s fair was down from last year.

Daniels said a number of factors kept this year’s fair from being as successful as past fairs.

“We had good attendance during the week, but Saturday (July 16) had a very low turnout,” he said. “On Saturday, the Ogemaw County Bike Week was going on in West Branch, and there was a fair in Gladwin and a wedding here locally that I believe played a factor. Plus, the weather was extremely hot.”

Fair events on Saturday included flat track motorcycle racing that Daniels said was not well attended.

“I can’t blame people for not wanting to come to the race, as hot as it was outside,” he said. “They probably wanted to stay inside in the cool air in their homes.”

Daniels said the fair’s other main events were more successful.

“The tractor pull, livestock show and Bump-n-Grind were all well attended,” he said.

This year’s fair was held a week earlier than past fairs because TJ Schmidt & Company Amusements LLC, which has run the midway at the fair for the past 15 years, notified the fair board in October that they would be taking their midway to Caro during the week of the Arenac County Fair.

Daniels said a second company, Schmidt Amusements, had an opening in their schedule during the week of July 12-16 and stepped in to run the midway.

“We were dealt the situation we had this year, and we made the best of it,” he said.

In a January interview, Daniels said that, had Schmidt Amusements not stepped in, the fair may not have featured a midway.

“We were lucky to find someone to be here around the time that we usually have the fair,” he said. “They really helped us out.”

Next year, Daniels would like to see the fair moved back to its normal week in July, or held a little later. He said planning for the 2012 Arenac County Fair will begin at the fair board’s next meeting in August.

“We are always planning for the next step,” he said. “We will see where we are at and move forward from there.”

Daniels said official attendance and revenue numbers from this year’s fair will be available after the board’s August meeting.

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