Even though the Huron County Fair Board had to deal with swine flu in the pig barn, president Bob Morgan said the fair was "a beautiful week" and gate receipts were up about $18,000 over last year.
He said pigs are still in the barns today because the board decided to go above and beyond recommendations from county and state departments and take additional samples late last week to make sure the pigs were completely over the flu before they were shipped to market. Animals are usually shipped out on Sunday.
Morgan said the latest test results should be available this afternoon and the animals will be shipped as soon as possible. "As a precautionary measure, we decided to wait until we get those results back," he said. "We're double-checking to make sure they're all healthy."
The pig barn was closed to the public Friday morning and the Huron County Health Department arranged for any fairgoers with complaints of flu symptoms to be tested, even though transmission of swine flu to humans is rare.
Tim Hollinger, administrator for the Huron County General Health District, said several people were tested, but only an exhibitor and an exhibitor's father tested positive for flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting tests to determine whether this human flu is related to swine flu, but the results from those tests are not yet available.
Hollinger added that several people who had attended the fair tested positive for strep throat, but that has absolutely no connection to swine flu.
Except for the pigs, Mother Nature smiled on the fair this year. "We had great weather. Every night was great attendance," Morgan said. "The Rodney Atkins concert and the demolition derby were the biggest events, but everything was good."
Morgan said the rise in gate receipts might be attributed to the $1 price increase in this year's tickets to make daily tickets $7. "We hadn't raised the price for 12 years," Morgan said. "We hated to do it, but it was something we had to do."
Morgan said local people are realizing that weekly passes for $22 are a great deal for people who want to visit the fair more than once and the office sold more weekly passes this year than previously. Weekly passes do not include rides at the fair.
The board will hold its monthly meeting on the first Thursday of September to review the 2007 fair and start planning for 2008. Morgan said they would probably decide on entertainment for next year sometime in the fall.
"We thank everybody who supported us," Morgan said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of volunteers. We're grateful for everybody that helped, the people who participated in the shows and all the people who came to watch.
"I think maybe we'll try doing this again next year," he joked.