Fair delivers on family fun
With concerts, cows and carnival rides, the 2013 St. Croix County Fair lived up to its theme of family fun.
Held from July 17-21 in Glenwood City, the fair received an outpouring of community support through volunteerism, donations and attendance.
Providing local families with the opportunity to learn more about the agricultural community and enjoy the outdoors, the fair has attracted around 20,000 people during the last few years.
Although Fair Board President Gail Maier said the steamy weather on Wednesday and Thursday was challenging, Friday and Saturday's comfortable temperatures drew large crowds to the fairgrounds.
"Overall, we were really pleased with attendance," Maier said. "This is the most rain-free fair we've had in a while, and after the first few days, the weather was just perfect."
Fairgoers enjoyed the return of many favorite attractions, including the carnival, Ozseeker the Clown, donkey races and mud volleyball.
However, they also appreciated new additions like the performance by the Home Free Acappella Singers and the opening of the second dairy barn, which was spearheaded by Fair Board member Terry Mitchell.
"We had tremendous cooperation from all of the contractors involved in the construction of the second dairy barn," said Chris Libbey, president of Friends of the Fairgrounds. "We heard nothing but positive comments about the new facility from fairgoers."
For Libbey, one of the fair's highlights was when Caleb DeBoer, a member of the meat animal project, donated his lamb to the Renovations for Generations Raffle. Usually, a steer, a hog and a lamb are purchased for the raffle, but DeBoer's donation eliminated the need to purchase a lamb and greatly aided the fundraising efforts.
"I think Caleb has really appreciated how he has benefited from the fair, and he wanted to give back," Libbey said.
Overall, the animal meat auction was a huge success. Despite having 12 fewer animals up for auction this year, the auction raised about $39,000 more for meat project exhibitors.
This year's Fairest of the Fair Gabes Rabb was crowned at the annual coronation event Thursday.
Dean and Jodi Lingenfelter and Dean LeMay were recipients of the 2013 Living Memorial awards presented Sunday. Both the Lingenfelters and LeMay volunteer numerous hours both during the fair and throughout the year to help the 4-H program, fair and rodeo be a success.
Indeed, passion for the fair and its objectives motivate many volunteers to dedicate their time to improving the five-day event.
Maier and many others are already considering suggestions and brainstorming ideas for next year's fair, but nothing is set in stone. Regardless of any additions and modifications, Maier said the fair will always be a place for families to come and celebrate their county.
"The fair gives me an opportunity to connect with other people that I only see occasionally," Maier said. "That's my favorite part about the fair. The wonderful people."