Venango Co. Fair officials assess another year

Ten years of hard work have gone into improvements at the Venango County Fair grounds and one board member said that it’s time to get back to basics.

“The last 10 years have been so busy,” said Chad Findlay, fair board member.

This year’s Venango County Fair concluded Aug. 13 and board members are taking some time to regroup.

“We are letting you know how much you mean to us and without you we would not be able to put on this wonderful fair year after year,” said Brad Deeter, fair president, in a letter to fair supporters.

Once the fair is over, Findlay said that he likes to take a couple of months to relax. Work will start again soon, however, as fair committees are chosen toward the end of the year and planning starts anew for next year’s fair in January.

All in all, planning for the annual county fair takes about eight months, Findlay said.

In recent years, large-scale projects have commanded the time, labor and attention of fair organizers, Findlay said. “We’ve all been spread so thin because of the big projects over the years,” he said.

This year alone two new barns were constructed after being damaged by bad weather.

This year’s fair was also a first for mud races that were so popular that they helped to provide the strongest Sunday opening of any fair before, Findlay said.

Actual numbers of fair attendees are hard to come by year after year as some people purchase daily and some purchase weekly passes, he said.

All of the additions to the fairgrounds produced needed upgrades and positive reviews, but now it’s time to scale back, Findlay said.

Previous fairs have showcased entertainment such as dances, bingo and movies, and this year’s fair provided little of that, he said. More activities for children such as music, magicians, ventriloquists and the like, are needed.

Fairgoers have also responded that they’d like to see more in the way of food vendors and commercial exhibits, Findlay said.

Hiccups are to be expected with new construction and those are being worked out, Findlay went on to say.

Pooling water was an issue on the grounds after the barns were constructed but those drainage issues are being remedied, he said.