Fair Board tweaks changes to event

Jon Jaehnig/For the Gazette The Houghton County Fair Association is nearly prepared for this year’s fair. The board held its last scheduled planning meeting Thursday before the fair starts Aug. 24.

Wet weather in recent weeks has led Houghton County Fair Association members to get ahead of schedule on the cleaning and prepping of indoor areas, while two of three new bleacher systems still need to be set up.

The County Fair Association Board held its last planning meeting before the fair on Thursday. Another meeting on Monday will be primarily for setting up the fairgrounds in advance of the fair, which will occur on August 24-27.

Several updates to the fairgrounds have been made since last year’s fair, including improvements in the horse stalls, a new manure pit and new bleachers.

One of the major orders of business for the Fair Association to complete involves erecting signage around the fairgrounds. Signs stating that the ballparks near the fairgrounds will be closed the week of the fair have yet to be made, and while no-parking signs have been purchased, they have yet to be erected.

This year’s fair will have designating smoking areas, in response to complaints last year that smoke was bothersome to non-smoking fairgoers, especially on the bleachers and near the entrances to buildings.

The Fair Association intends to designate two smoking areas, behind the Houghton County Arena and behind the Maasto Hiihto building.

The Fair Association will also be experimenting with different treatments in the carnival area in an attempt to keep dust down in the high-traffic area.

The Fair Association has also been working with the Hancock public transit system, which is planning on having hourly stops at the fairgrounds on the Thursday and Friday of fair week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. A special bus stop may be marked near the ticket booth and fair entrance, although details of this are still being worked out.