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County fair fares well against many competing events

Aidan Pietila, at one and a half years old, is intrigued by the cows at the Hubbard County Fair. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Hubbard County Fair Board members were optimistically assessing this year's fair attendance and believe the five-day event did well despite competition throughout the region.

"It was a pretty good week," said board president Howard Warmbold, despite events such as Menahga Midsummer, the Menahga Mud Run, the Century craft sale and the pig races in Nevis all being held the same weekend.

But fair board vice president Bert Hill said members noticed new phenomenon this year.

"People came earlier but they left earlier," he said.

That left some grandstand events less than 100 percent full, while the midway and carnival events had good crowds during the daytime, he said.

Kim Longfors, a relatively new Fair Board member, spent Sunday signing up racers for the demolition derby.

"It's gone pretty good," she said. "It's a lot of work."

Longfors is among a number of younger board members who spend the five days volunteering their time at the fair.

"It's good to have young blood on the Fair Board," she said. And her constant companion last week was nephew Ethan Campbell, who may represent the next generation of fair volunteers.

But longtime volunteers like Palmer Vaadeland, who keeps vigil over the chicken exhibits for the entire five days, are the mainstay of the fair.

The exhibit pavilion played host to political candidates, 4-H floral, photographic and fabric exhibits, a public health expo and other displays that drew wide audiences.

And due to hot conditions, beer sales, particularly for the modified tractor pull Saturday and demolition derby Sunday were brisk.

Because admission to the fair itself is free, it can be tricky to gauge attendance. But it typically hovers between 10,000 and 15,000.

2010 was no different, Warmbold believes. He's already planning 2011.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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