Rain causes dip in ’17 fair attendance

HANCOCK — The Houghton County Fair Board heard a report on the 2017 fair at its annual meeting Dec. 14.

The attendance for 2017 was 22,886 over the four days, down by approximately 9 perent from the previous year. There were three days of good weather, and Sunday’s rain was responsible for the dip in attendance.

There were 201 youth exhibitors and 110 adult exhibitors in the premium paying classes. Premiums paid amounted to $10, 880. Payouts for Motocross, the Off Road Derby and Demolition Derby amounted to over $4,000. The Youth Talent Show, which has replaced the Miss Teen Pageant, had 14 contestants. The junior market livestock sale grossed over $40,000 for youth livestock exhibitors.

Two hundred thirty volunteers worked for approximately 5, 000 hours to put on the fair. There were 90 individuals and businesses that sponsored different portions of the fair with monetary donations and donations of equipment and services.

The 2018 fair will be held Aug. 23-26. The Skerbeck Entertainment Group is contracted to provide the carnival and midway.

Professional entertainment secured for 2018 includes the Monster Truck Throwdown on Saturday evening, ATV jumpers on for three performances on both Saturday and Sunday, and every day of the fair performances by the “Canines in the Clouds” Dock Diving Dogs, Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo and Kevin Kameraad, Puppeteer, brought to the fair with a grant from the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs administered by the Copper Country Community Arts Council.

Elected for three-year terms to the board of directors were Rick Freeman, Jack Dunstan, Taana Kalliainen and newcomer, Kyle Maki.

The other board members are Sandy Ahola, Kathleen Caspary, Will Dorman, Bonnie DeCaire-Jones, Ethan Johnson, Arthur Lampinen, Steve Palosaari, Don Schwenk, Kris Tapani, Debbie Winquist and Commissioner Tim Palosaari.

Youth Directors for 2018 will be Grace Laitala, Justin Mattila, Annie Tuttle, Amelia Kamm, Connor Kamm and Jewel Laux.

Serving as officers will be Rick Freeman, president; Kathleen Caspary, vice president; Bonnie DeCaire-Jones, secretary; Steve Palosaari, treasurer and Ethan Johnson, assistant treasurer.

Carol Saari is the office manager and Hannah Tuomi is the office clerk.

The next Fair Board meeting will be on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. There will not be a January meeting.