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Washington County Fair Board Struggling With Finances

By: Shannon Houser
By: Shannon Houser
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A Monday morning fire to the River City Farmers Market hits the vendors hard, but also leaves the Washington County Fair Board with a big mess to clean up.

"The 2011 fair, we had two and a half days washed out with no income and we really count on the gate admissions to carry us through," Washington County Fair Board Treasurer, Sandra Hickey says.

Bad weather during Washington County Fair time leaves the board struggling with funds.

"The financial situation of the fair board right now is in sad shape because the last two years we've had bad weather for our fair and that is our main money maker of the year to operate the rest of the year. The weather has just not cooperated with us whatsoever for us to be able to build up our bank."

But a fire to one of it's major buildings Monday morning makes the fair's financial situation even worse.

"We've hung in there, but this is going to set us back even more because this is an expense we weren't prepared for."

The 4-H barn is completely destroyed, and right now, they're left with nowhere to show their rabbits and poultry.

"The fair's really there for the kids, for the 4-H kids to show their animals and show what they've done and what they've worked so hard to do and for the public to come and see it. Plus it's a fun event. We always try to have things there for everybody to enjoy."

A lifetime of memories made at the fair. The board hopes kids and families will be able to experience the joy this year, too but it all depends on if they can afford to rebuild.

"We're hoping that whatever insurance is left on the building that it's enough to rebuild it. We want to rebuild the barn. We want to get it back up and we want to have it ready by fair."

The fair board plans to discuss options during the meeting in two weeks. Hickey says they still aren't sure how much insurance is going to cover.

"We're not giving up. We just hope this years fair is going to be good. Good weather and good attendance."


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