Fair Board hosts appreciation dinner

—Guests learn about upcoming events, introduced to Fair Queen candidates
CRESCO - Fair Board Executive Secretary Tom Barnes told guests, “We started this [appreciation] dinner to show our [gratitude] for those who have helped the fair board, either financially or in kind. It’s a lot of work and a lot of money to make this thing work, and we couldn’t do it without you.”
The highlight of the evening is always the introduction of the Fair Queen candidates. This year, two highly-qualified girls are vying for the title, Ashley Ferrie and Erin Ryan. 
Last year’s queen, Hope Dohlman, and princess, Karissa Stika, talked about their stints as Mighty Howard County Fair royalty.
Dohlman related her queen experience at the State Fair. “Several of the other queens asked, ‘Is your fair really that mighty?’ I always answered yes!”
Stika gave a few “Mighty Moments” over the past year, including giving away ribbons at the livestock shows; and parades, with “little girls giving big hugs. It shows how we are role models.”
Dohlman explained wearing the sash was another way to support the community. “I felt proud to represent the values of our fair.” The queen also wrote a book about her experiences that will be on display at the fair.
The two 2019 candidates were then given their questions to answer. It turns out they both answered the same question: What is the best advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you?
Ryan said, “Not to procrastinate — ever! My ag teacher told me that after I had procrastinated for a state contest.”
Ferrie’s advice was given by her parents, “Be yourself. Don’t be judged by others.”
The 2019 Howard County Fair Queen will be crowned on Wednesday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Scheidel Plaza.
Fair facts
Barnes explained a few years prior, the fair budget was less than what is spent on just two nights of entertainment. Other statistics he gave included spending $25,000 on insurance and $33,000 a year in utilities. “It takes about $1,200 per week to operate the fairgrounds,” he concluded.
Each year, the Mighty Howard County Fair improves, making it one of the best fairs in the state. He noted sponsors help make it the best.
Before dinner was served, Leroy Webb joked about the amount of rain the area received. “Every rock in Howard County is now washed off!” He asked those present to pray for good weather for the fair, saying the 4-H kids are so active. He then gave the dinner prayer.
After the group was fed, Barnes again thanked those who help out the fair board. “We also need to show our appreciation of the spouses of the ‘red shirts,’ which is what the board members call ourselves. Lots of volunteers make this little monster a success!”
He gave a little insight into some behind-the-scenes happenings at the fair. “What you may not know is that when someone, adult or child, goes missing, board members block off all the exits, and emergency personnel are called right away.”
Fair Projects
One of the current projects taking place on the fairgrounds is the Historical Society’s Howard County Historical Preservation Center. More donations are needed to get the construction off the ground.
An ongoing project is the work done by the Master Gardeners, who keep the fairgrounds looking nice. “One of the first things visitors notice is how well-kept the grounds are,” Barnes noted. “In addition, we are blessed with home-cooked food (Notre Dame, Methodist Church and Trinity School stands). The entertainers want to go to the church stands. They look forward to that every year.”
New this year is the dairy heifer project, with 14 youth enrolled. “Thanks to Tim and Diana Huhe and daughter Jennifer for getting that started,” Barnes said. 
The Huhe family is sponsoring a program similar to the swine project, which was started in 2016. FFA and 4-H youth could rent two calves. One was housed at the Ag Education Center, the other at the Huhe farm. 
The Thomson/Borlaug intern, Amanda Gorzney was introduced. She has been helping at the Borlaug Boyhood Farm and Birthplace, as well as at the Extension office.
Barnes concluded, “We (Mighty Howard County Fair) exist because of our youth and the communities we serve.”
As many of the guests left the Expo Center and fairgrounds, they couldn’t help but think how quiet and peaceful it was before the start of the Mighty Howard County Fair! 

Cresco Times

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

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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