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'Big variety' makes another successful fair year

Zoe Greszler • Aug 19, 2018 at 6:56 PM

It was another successful year at the Huron County Fair — something that could not be accomplished without many hands that work behind the scenes.

The annual fair that takes place in Norwalk concluded Saturday with the large livestock sale in the morning, the showman of showmen competition in the afternoon and the demolition derby at night.

Dick Wiles, board vice president, said the fair “went very well,” to which secretary Barney Bacon added the fair beat last year’s attendance numbers on several of the days, thanks to good weather.

“We had good attendance every day,” Wiles said.

“The rain didn’t bother us too bad. There was probably more rain Friday around the county that might have kept a few people away but here it held off until after the show so that was good. And people were already here so they might have gotten wet going home, but it was good here.

“We came real close to where we were last year (with attendance),” Wiles added. “We might have had a couple hundred people more than last year, but we were real close.” 

The paid attendance for Thursday, which was Seniors Day, totaled 7,595 — down from 7,640 in 2017.

Attendance figures for Friday and Saturday were unavailable Sunday evening.

Wiles said he doesn’t think there was any one thing that made the week a success. 

“There’s a big variety of stuff to see and do and it’s a time to socialize with people you don’t get to see but once a year,” he said.

Wiles said most who come to the fair would tell you the Huron County Fair is their favorite, and for good reason.

“At every county fair, to the county resident it’s the best fair in the state because that’s where they socialize and see all their friends,” he said.

“You can go to another fair, see a lot of people, see a lot of stuff, but you don’t know all those people. You come to your county fair, you know the people, you socialize, you know kids that are showing, watch those kids showing and that’s a great time — that makes the difference.”

One fairgoer, Brandi Braker of Norwalk, said she goes for the food but enjoyed seeing her cousin “show things” at the fair.

All of the past week’s success, though, wasn’t without a few bumps in the road — most of which the average fairgoer would never know about.

“There’s hiccups every day but people don’t see them; we take care of them pretty quick,” Wiles said.

“There’s a lot of people that do a lot of work. Sometimes it’s stuff that needs done when people aren’t around here. Sometimes it’s at midnight or in the early hours of the morning that something comes about.”

Wiles said once the Monday of fair week rolls around, the board members devote themselves exclusively to the fair for six straight days, ensuring a successful and fun week.

“Then, whatever comes up, you take care of it,” he said. “The outside world doesn’t matter for that week. It’s a week of fair.”

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