2017 fair bolsters record numbers

Monday, August 7, 2017
(Photo Contributed) The 2017 Plymouth County Fair was a success in more ways than one. Fair attendance for last this year’s fair grew by more than 4,000 people over that of the 2016 fair and exceeds more than 11,000 in attendance over 2014. In addition to attendance, the fair auction continues to grow and raise more money for the fair board. This year’s auction generated over $23,000.

PLYMOUTH CO. — The fairgrounds are quiet now, exhibits and livestock are gone, vendors have headed out and the grounds have been cleaned up following “The Best 5 Days of Summer” July 26-30 at the Plymouth County Fair.

Attendance at the 2017 fair totaled 111,500, compared to the 2016 attendance of 107,100.

Fair Board President Rich Benson said the board was pleased with the fair turnout.

“On Saturday, I have never seen the parking lot that full before, even the field by Le Mars Insurance. I don’t know if it could have gotten another car parked,” he said.

Cars filled the city park area and the cement plant parking area.

“We couldn’t have asked for any better weather. The rain never hurt anything Wednesday morning. It settled the dust so we didn’t have to water as much,” Benson said.

Benson noted all the grandstand events had good attendance, with the Saturday demolition derby and Sunday Figure 8 racing packing the stands full.

“I know Friday night the Pro Impact wrestlers under the covered arena, everything was packed. It was standing room only,” he added.

The Farm Olympics were another attraction that had a large crowd.

The popular auction of wood carvings and collectibles on Sunday afternoon in the Pioneer Village brought in $27,340 for the fair board coffers.

The highest bid of the auction was $5,000 for the quilt made and donated by Geri Dreckman.

The king-size quilt, called “Poppies,” was hand appliqued and assembled by Dreckman and machine quilted by Pat Siebens. It took 320 hours to complete. The quilt also took grand champion honors in the creative hobbies show in its division.

There was brisk bidding for the Town & Country Toy Club belt buckles. The No. 1 pewter sold for $300, with the No. 2 buckle also selling for $300.

It was a different story on the No. 1 colored belt buckle which took a bid of $1,600. The No. 2 colored buckle sold for $600. This year’s buckle saluted the Plymouth County Pork Producers.

Three 10-gallon milk cans with Wells Dairy markings were sold, two for $60 each and one for $70.

Two Plymouth County Fair Trucks, donated by Le Mars Toy Store, were sold.

The No. 1 truck brought $1,300 and the No. 2 truck sold for $1,100.

The Plymouth County Pork Producers again offered a grilling event for up to 250 people. That sold for $1,400.

The 16 wood carvings by AJ Lutter and Gary Keenan brought a total of $16,650.

Lutter and Keenan showed their artistic talents as they turned logs donated by Del and Lori Kellen into pieces of art.

Keenan carved nine pieces for this year’s auction. The carving, type of wood, and top bid were:

Wolf, walnut, $1,600.

Mushroom, walnut, $200.

Cardinal, cedar, $900.

Pig and Corn, walnut, $2,000.

Horse Head, walnut, $2,100.

Raccoons, walnut, $600.

Soybean, walnut, $600.

5 o’clock Somewhere Parrot, $1,400.

Hummingbird, cedar, $1,500.

Lutter put his chainsaws to work on seven creations. They were:

Owl, cedar, $500.

Ear of Corn, walnut, $1,000.

Breast Cancer Ribbon, walnut, $1,200.

Turtle, walnut, $600.

Eagle, walnut, $1,050.

Welcome Bear, walnut, $1,000.

Fish, walnut, $400.

One of the final tasks following the fair is cleanup night, Aug. 2.

“The 4-H’ers come in and help clean up the grounds each year. By the time we left at 9 p.m., it was a ghost town, nothing was out, everything was put away for another year,” Benson said.

Benson and the board are already looking to the 2018 fair and ways to make it even better.

“I want to thank everybody who came to the fair and all the volunteers that make it go,” Benson concluded.

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