Fair Board hosts appreciation dinner

—Queen candidates recognized, quiz given on history of Howard County Fair


CRESCO - “You sponsors help keep our fair free,” Fair Board Executive Secretary Tom Barnes said as he welcomed guests to the Fair Board Appreciation dinner on June 13 in preparation of the 125th Mighty Howard County Fair on June 20-24.
The event is planned to thank those who help, as well as their significant others. It takes caring and supportive community members to make the fair a success. 
After a pork chop meal, provided by Howard County Pork Producers and sides by McAllister Catering, Barnes quizzed guests on the history of the fair. He surprised them by saying the earliest fairs were held at Vernon Springs, then the current courthouse lawn and building, then at the Maples Apartments, across from the Library. That location included a horse track! 
In 1899, the Howard County Agricultural Society disbanded until it was re-established in 1923 at its current location. The fairgrounds started with 10 acres and now has 44.
Barnes joked that in the mid-20th century, board members would start mowing the grounds two weeks before the fair, as well as painting and fixing buildings. Many times only the front of the buildings were painted! Now the fairgrounds are busy year-round with activities and upkeep.
He let the audience know how dedicated the fair board members are. “According to state code, board members cannot be paid. They volunteer all their time.” He thanked present and past board members for all their hard work.
The executive secretary noted some of the recent projects, including the construction of the Historical Preservation Museum in 2008 and the Ag Education Center in 2015. And now an addition is being planned for the museum, as well as the continuing Pathways for Wheels project organized by 2016 Fair Queen Kandise Hauber.
Barnes explained some locals question the amount of money spent on the big-name grandstand entertainment. “They cost more, but we do it because it brings people to the fair. It is for people to have a little fun.”
He said the fair board likes to have fun as well. And they will share that fun with the general public. On Saturday afternoon, there will be 1,000 cupcakes in celebration of the 125th Mighty Howard County Fair. Also Farm Bureau is having a watermelon feed.
Fair Queen Candidates
“This is the 30th year we have partnered with Farm Bureau for the Fair Queen Contest. I remember the first Queen, Becky Schmidt of Elma. She came back last year with her family. That was nice.”
Queen Sami Bigalk and Princess Emma Mannery spoke a few words about the prior year as fair royalty.
The girls talked about being best friends and sharing the duties of the queen. Bigalk thanked Tom and Sue Barnes for their hard work, as well as the fair board, volunteers and parents. Mannery noted Maria Larson, chairperson of the queen contest, “was our fairy godmother for the past year,” helping them with their duties.
Tom told them, “You certainly kept us on our toes!”
Community member Peggy Loveless came up to thank all the board members and others associated with putting on a great fair.
The four candidates for 2018 Howard County Fair Queen were introduced. They were all given a different question to answer.
• Hope Dohlman of Cresco is the daughter of Emily Dohlman Govern and recently finished her junior year at Crestwood High School. Her question was outside of the Howard County Fair, what would she tell people to visit. “I’d tell them to go to the State Fair. Go to the 4-H building and see all the projects done by kids from Howard County.”
• Cassie Hosek of Elma is the daughter of Jim and Wendy Hosek. She just finished her junior year at CHS. She was asked what she would do if given $50 to spend at the fair. “My dad introduced me to giros. I would put the money into my gyros savings account and use my other money for stuff in the Expo building.”
• Kayla Hruska of Cresco is the daughter of Shelly Girolamo and Corey Hruska. She just finished her junior year at CHS. Her question was how would she engage with children. “I’m a hugger. First thing, I would hug them. Then ask their favorite part of the fair. I would hope they would remember our experience.
• Karissa Stika of Cresco is the daughter of Ron and Elaine Stika. She just completed her senior year at CHS. She was asked to describe how she would entertain a visitor for one day at the fair. “I would start with a morning livestock show. Then get some food — there are multiple options.” In addition she would take them to a free show in the afternoon and the grandstand event that night.
Barnes shook his head as he looked at the judges and said, “We have four queens here. Wow! You have a hard job!”
The 2018 Mighty Howard County Fair Queen will be chosen at the coronation ceremonies at Scheidel Plaza at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed