Good weather combined with good attendance figures added up to a good Huron County Fair this year, fair board director Bob Morgan said.
He said the total money collected in admission costs was up about $18,000 from last year, although Morgan did not have a total monetary amount.
The fair board enacted a $1 increase in gate admission, which will be in effect for next year as well. Morgan said the move was necessary with the struggling economy. This year marked the first time in 12 years the fair board enacted an increase, Morgan said.
"Everything else went up; we just had to keep up," he said.
Morgan estimated attendance was about the same as last year, and patrons were enthusiastic.
"Everybody seemed to like it, you get compliments, you get complaints," he said.
It was hard to complain about the weather, as fair attendees enjoyed clear skies and mild temperatures. The nice weather came just ahead of rainy weather that produced floods in the Firelands area.
"We kind of smiled about that; you get lucky once in a while and we got lucky," Morgan said.
The fair board meets at 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Fairgrounds' secretary office. At its September meeting, board members will review this year's fair week.
"We'll take a look at everything we did and see what went right and what went wrong," Morgan said.
He said one of the positives to come out of this year's fair was the 4-H band, organized by Western Reserve High School senior and 4-Her Maria Zimmerman.
"She took it upon herself to do it and I commend her," Morgan said.
On a down note, three men crashed their ATVs during a competition at the fair Thursday and had to be taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center, with one then being flown by helicopter to another hospital. Jared Wilhelm was treated and released from Fisher-Titus. Personal information about Nick Gates and Nick Mott was not released to the media.
"It's unfortunate the way it worked out," Morgan said, adding fair board members will have to decide whether to bring the ATV races back next year.
Former fair board member James Heyman, who is also secretary/treasurer of the harness racing group Buckeye Superstakes, said he received quite a few calls before the fair, bemoaning the absence of harness racing.
"It was an integral part of the fair for many, many years," he said. "They were just surprised the present board had decided to go without it.
"The world is changing, and maybe everyone is interested in blood and bone shows with motors."
Fair Board Vice President Richard Wiles said harness racing is not as popular as it used to be.
"The entertainment (we had) brought more people to the fair," he said. "The more people you bring to the gate, the more money you make."
Fair officials also had to deal with a case of the swine flu within the swine barn. It was closed to the public the last three days of the fair, but in the end, the animals were treated for the illness and tests came back normal. They were then slaughtered for meat.
Attention now turns to next year's fair.
"It's one week that we work all year for," Morgan said.