The 2019 Houghton County Fair year-end report
Attendance at the 2019 fair was estimated at 23,790 over the four days of the fair, up from 19,792 in 2018. The fair enjoyed good weather every day. The admission receipts for the fair, rides for the Skerbeck Entertainment Group carnival, and auction proceeds for the Junior Market Livestock Sale exhibitors were all record breaking.
Entertainment acts were the Monster Truck Throwdown, the Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo, the Grizzly Experience, and the Chicago Honey Bear Dancers along with local music acts on the indoor stage. Other contests were the Motocross Races, Off-Road Derby, Farm Tractor Pull, and Demolition Derby.
Premiums paid out for agricultural shows, still exhibits and Motocross Races amounted to over $12,800 to 238 youth exhibitors and 128 open class exhibitors. Two hundred thirty volunteers donated 5,100 hours working for the fair, with in-kind donations estimated at $90,000.
Plans for the Aug. 27-30, 2020 Fair:
Entertainment for the 2020 fair will include the Monster Truck Throwdown, ZUZU African Acrobats, Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo, the return of a Horse Pull on Saturday afternoon, a pending animal act, and local musicians on the indoor stage. The Skerbeck Entertainment Group will again provide the carnival and midway.
Board members for the upcoming year will be Kathleen Caspary (President), Rick Freeman (Vice President), Debbie Winquist (Secretary), Steve Palosaari (Treasurer), Ethan Johnson (Assistant Treasurer), Trustees Sandy Ahola, Taana Blom, Jack Dunstan, Bethany Hillstrom, Kyle Maki, Sarah Mars, Chris Miller, Don Schwenk, and Kris Tapani. Glenn Anderson is the Houghton County Commissioner serving on the board. Carol Saari, Office Manager and Margaret Dunstan, Office Assistant, will serve as the office staff. Bob Rinne is the grounds keeper.
The Board approved a change in admission prices. Due to a significant increase in entertainment costs for the 2020 fair, the adult single-day ticket cost will go from $7 to $10 on Saturday only. The youth cost will remain at $5 for daily tickets. The adult 4-day pass, at the gate, will increase from $23 to $25. The advanced 4-day passes will remain the same, at $20 for adults and $14 for youth.