Helicopter may move Round Barn to fairgrounds
Several members of the Washington County Fair Board attended the Association of Iowa Fairs annual meeting last month. They shared some of the information and insights they received with their fellow board members Wednesday night during the board’s monthly meeting. The board also heard an update on the Round Barn project, 4-H project release day and time and approved increases in room rentals at the Washington County Extension building on the fairgrounds.
President Jerome Vittetoe said this year’s state meeting is the first state meeting he has attended. He said he learned a lot about carnivals. He also said he listened to an “active discussion” about beer tents.
“There was a lot of active discussion about beer tents,” Vittetoe said. “Seventy percent of fairs don’t charge admission and 60 percent of those 70 percent have a beer tent.”
As for carnivals that contract with fairs, Vice President Don Lewis said that some counties pay $2,000 to $3,000 to bring a carnival to the fair.
Lewis gave an update about the Round Barn project. He has been in contact with a member of the National Guard about the use of a helicopter to move the Round Barn from its home to the fairgrounds. He said there will be no charge to use the helicopter. The contact is working on paperwork to send to Des Moines for an official OK.
Tempers flared when fair board member Jim Schneider asked to switch the 4-H project release time back to the Thursday night of the fair. He said that has worked fine for the 34 years he has been a leader.
Fair board member Dean Sieren said the release date should be during daylight hours and that trying to move livestock trailers around the fairgrounds during the motocross when there are “thousands of people” and lots of traffic is dangerous.
Treasurer Jarrod Horning also told Schneider that the issue is safety and that he doesn’t want to wait until a child gets hurt to make the change.
For more, see our Jan. 13 print edition.