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General News

IAFE members can check out all the news in the Breaking News section and get e-mail alerts with the Personalized Alert System (PAS).

06/26 -- Longtime fair manager retires -- Candy Tripp has been at the Marion County Fair Board so long, she remembers the time before computers. Tripp, who manages the Marion County Fairgrounds, recalled the skepticism with which she was met when asking the 24-member fair board for a second computer. The board, she said, was made up primarily of farmers, and when they balked at her request, wondering why she would need another computer, Tripp put it in more relatable terms . . . more -->

06/26 -- Minnesota cities rethink carnivals, security at local summer festivals -- The little boy who loves trains was too fixated on the “choo choo” ride just beyond the entrance at Columbia Heights’ annual Jamboree to notice the new $2 admission fee, fresh fencing around the carnival’s perimeter or sign banning bikes, skateboards and dogs. But the changes were not lost on 7-year-old Jacob Rondo’s mom, who wondered what was afoot. “Maybe it will make it safer,” Sarah Mohs said . . . more -->

06/26 -- Flooding closes Wayne County 4H Fair amid travel advisory -- The temporary closing of the Wayne County 4H Fair because of flooding occurred not long after a Level 1 travel advisory was issued for Wayne County roads and streets in Richmond and Centerville. The advisory is in effect until 8 a.m. Saturday (June 24), according to the county highway department and the street departments for Richmond and Centerville . . . more -->

06/23 -- Smoking, vaping banned at the Mid-State Fair and the Paso Robles Event Center -- California Mid-State Fair visitors who want to light up or vape will have to go elsewhere this summer. Smoking and vaping will be prohibited at the fair and at the Paso Robles Event Center as a whole starting July 1, according to a Mid-State Fair news release. Visitors were previously allowed to smoke in designated areas, but the new policy bans the practice completely. The fair’s new stance is in line with smoking bans at other fairs in California, according to the release . . . more -->

06/23 -- Fixing up the fairgrounds; grandstand getting new roof -- While the Lawrence County Fair doesn’t begin until July 9, there are crews already working on beautifying the fairgrounds. The most visible is a new roof being put over the grandstand seats. “We’re just improving it with a new roof,” said Steve Walters, the groundskeeper at the fair grounds. “We want to make it better . . . more -->

06/22 -- The Foreign Visa Crackdown Is Putting Americans Out of Work -- Kate Bridges should be waiting tables right now. She’s been a server at the lauded farm-to-table restaurant at the Pentagoet Inn in Castine, Maine, for six years, making enough during the summer season to carry her through the year. But in early June she was answering the phone at the inn, telling callers that the restaurant was closed for the foreseeable future . . . more -->

06/22 -- Visionary CO State Fair Manager Jerry Robbe dies at 83 -- He was heralded as the tireless innovative visionary who not only saved the Colorado State Fair but ushered it into the modern era. And on Monday, longtime Colorado State Fair Manager Clarence Gerald "Jerry" Robbe died at the age of 83. A Pueblo rancher, Robbe took over as manager of the Fair in 1984 after Dan Lee resigned under pressure. While the arrangement was supposed to be brief, Robbe remained as manager well into the 1990s, bringing stabilization to what was termed a "roller coaster ride . . . more -->

06/22 -- Dale Christiansen assumes CWSF director duties -- New Central Wisconsin State Fair Director Dale Christiansen is a Merrill native with a long history in the fair industry. “I’ve been with the Lincoln County Fair up in Merrill for 23 years,” said Christiansen. “I’ve been serving on their board. I’ve served as president for 15 years and manager for 12.” In addition, Christiansen has been a District One director for the state fair board the past six years, serving two years as vice president and two years as president . . . more -->

06/22 -- Fair board’s grant will be used toward new lighting system -- Northwest Farm Credit Services has awarded a $1,000 Northwest FCS Rural Community Grant to the Malheur County Fair Board. The board “is so grateful to have received a Grant from Northwest Farm Credit Services,” said Lynell Christiani, fair manager in a news release. “This money will go towards a new lighting system in the Commercial Building. The new lighting system will not only be aesthetically pleasing but it will lower our electric bill, prevent the building from heating up and will make the building more appealing to renters . . . more -->

06/21 -- 4-H member seeking special wheelchair -- The terrain is rough on a dairy farm. It’s rougher still when you have cerebral palsy. Brandon Skinner knows a thing or two about rough roads from his weekly visits to the farm of family friends Denton and Amy Hanson, where he’s training three lambs from his wheelchair to show at the Barron County Fair. The terrain doesn’t get any easier at the fair. “When we get out in the ring, the ring is like sawdust chips,” Brandon says. “I couldn't spin last year because I was getting stuck in the ring . . . more -->

06/21 -- Garth Brooks to perform at the Mid-State Fair -- Country legend Garth Brooks will perform at the Mid-State Fair this year for the first time ever. The concert, which also features his wife, Trisha Yearwood, is Thursday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. The country singer, whose hits include “Friends in Low Places” and “Unanswered Prayers,” has been certified as the top-selling solo artists in U.S. history by the Recording Industry Association of America . . . more -->

06/21 -- Placer County Fair To Go On Despite Heatwave -- The Placer County Fair will go on as planned despite facing oppressive, record-setting heat. Fair officials say that the triple-digit temperatures are not deterring them from opening on Thursday. “The Placer County Fair has been held every year for 80 years during heat waves, rainy days, and beautiful skies,” said Greg Hegwer, the fair’s CEO, in a statement . . . more -->

06/21 -- Sound Community Bank backs Clallam County Fair rodeo -- The Clallam County Fair Board accepts a $500 donation from Sound Community Bank to sponsor this year’s fair rodeo. Laurie Stewart, president and CEO of Sound Community Bank, said, “We sincerely believe that ‘community’ isn’t just our middle name. Our holistic approach to sustainability includes sustaining our communities, employees, stakeholders and financial performance . . . more -->

06/15 -- Alameda County Fair Participates in Facebook's Small Business Council -- Facebook believes that when small businesses succeed, communities thrive. In 2014, the social network started its U.S. Small and Medium Business (SMB) Council, a group of small-to-medium business owners who provide input about their needs and feedback on Facebook products while receiving tips and tools to help them make the most of the platform. This year, the Alameda County Fair was chosen to be a part of SMB Council . . . more -->

06/15 -- Weld County Fair agent brought passion as a child into career -- People used to tell Kim Sterkel she'd follow her grandma's career path. Of course, she disagreed, but it wasn't too far off. Her grandmother, Dixie Frick, was an extension agent for Adams County, working with the 4-H kids. Plus, the passion Sterkel had for 4-H was obvious. "After I graduated from college I was a little unsure for about a year about what I was gong to do with my life," she said, "but then I came back (to the Weld County Fair) to work with the data entry stuff and I was like, 'This is what you're' supposed to be doing. Why have you been wasting your time . . . more -->

06/15 -- Ram Truck signs on as presenting sponsor of Michigan State Fair -- Michigan State Fair LLC has added Ram Truck brand, a division of Fiat Chrysler, as the new presenting sponsor of this year's fair at Suburban Collection Showplace, its fifth installment at the Novi grounds. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The fair's main sponsor makeup this year switched from "title sponsor" to "presenting sponsor," said Nancy Phares, state fair media manager. Ram Truck signed onto a three-year agreement as presenting sponsor, while Fifth Third Bank, which served as title sponsor 2013-16, is no longer sponsoring the event . . . more -->

06/15 -- Summer Reading Challenge begins: Youth will record books -- Youth in grades first through eighth are invited to participate in the Summer Reading Challenge and win a prize at the Dodge County Fair. To do so, participants need to record the books they have read throughout the summer on a Summer Reading Challenge form . . . more -->

06/15 -- Expansions Planned at Fairgrounds -- Plans are under way to expand the sales ring and redo the wash rack at the Sheridan County Fairgrounds. Jason Koltiska, who's on the Sheridan County Fair Association board of trustees, said work won't get started this summer, but the 4-H/FFA Livestock Committee hopes work can start this fall or next spring and be completed by May 2018. Koltiska, who's taken the lead in the proposed expansion project, said the beginning was in February at this year's beef weigh-ins . . . more -->

06/13 -- Missoula County Fairgrounds: Development director outlines new projects -- As soon as next year, construction could begin on $20 million or more worth of new projects at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, including a new learning center, 3,000 feet of bike/pedestrian trails, perimeter landscaping and 10 acres of open space and other amenities. Whether it happens depends on what the Missoula County Board of Commissioners decides this August . . . more -->

06/13 -- Sangamon County Fair cuts admission price in half -- Visitors to the Sangamon County Fair this year will be able to save on admission costs. Officials have announced that admission fees for this year's fair have been reduced by half. That means admission will cost $5 per person on June 13 and 18, and $10 per person on June 14, 15, 16, and 17. The admission fee includes access to the fairgrounds, grounds acts, unlimited carnival rides, beer pavilion, commercial building, and exhibition buildings . . . more -->