Everyone loves a county fair

Many area residents look forward to the Fallon County Fair each year. Family and friends take time off to come to Baker to visit during the fair.

By Angel Wyrwas

Many area residents look forward to the Fallon County Fair each year. Family and friends take time off to come to Baker to visit during the fair. With so many activities and shows it is easy to have an extremely busy weekend. And everyone has their favorite things about the fair.

“I think the take away that is big this year,” said Fairgrounds Manager Lani DeBuhr, “is that even though we had three new fair board members and a new manager this year the teamwork was incredible. We have so many amazing volunteers that put in many, many hours and this fair just wouldn’t work without them.”

Fair goers may have noticed how full the exhibit hall was this year. There were 2,763 entries and 102 more exhibitors than last year. Beautiful art and craft projects lined the walls, inspiring photographs caught people’s attention and the baked goods made everyone hungry. It is a testament to the great talent that overflows in our community!

The number of vendors doubled from last year and ten of them were new to the Fallon County Fair. Offerings ranged from jewelry and clothing to photography and home based businesses.

Dana Bowman, a retired sergeant first class who served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army and a double-amputee, is a crowd favorite when he parachutes into the arena with a larger than life American Flag.

The rodeo talent was abundant and while Saturday’s rodeo was well attended, Sunday’s rodeo definitely had fewer spectators than past fairs. “People have made comments about the price of the tickets,” said DeBuhr. Fair Board member Eddie Coulter stated that the board is well aware of the situation regarding the price of rodeo tickets. “We will be discussing this and will do what we think is best to make it right for the majority of people next year,” said Coulter.

The carnival got a lot of thumbs up and it was noticeable how many people were on the midway enjoying the rides and games. “We hired three different vendors and they all worked incredibly well with one another to map out the midway so it was appealing,” said DeBuhr. Action Entertainment, with its slide and sport blow-ups, had such great success, they will return for next year’s fair.

“We had already booked Motor Mania,” said DeBuhr, “and it was such a treat that they brought the bronze medalist of the X-Games to Baker. The youth were especially impressed.”

The Saturday morning parade had many creative entries this year and there was no shortage of candy. New businesses, old businesses, campaign and reunion floats and youth clubs joined the long line of horses, flags and fire trucks.

Hometown sweetheart Kayli Merwin gave an astonishing performance Friday evening and dazzled the crowd with her clear vocals. Two Way Crossing followed her with their energizing performance. This band certainly interacted with the crowd, even inviting everyone to message them if ever in Nashville and the band would welcome them to a show.

Unfortunately Jerrod Niemann’s show wasn’t as well attended as would be expected of a headliner performance but that didn’t stop him from giving a rabble rousing concert. “Of course it is a bit disappointing,” said DeBuhr. “It is always hard to know what people want to hear. In order to better help the fair board decide who to bring next year, they have added a voting button to the Fallon County Fair website. We are asking for people to go there and vote for what type of music they wish to have.”

Nothing wraps up a warm August fair like a little metal on metal carnage. Always the grand finale of the fair, the demolition derby never disappoints. It was the only event of the long weekend that overflowed the massive grandstands. Spectators placed friendly bets and bought into the calcutta to support the Baker Wrestling Club. And after the grudge match has been fought and one vehicle demolishes all the other competitors…that’s a wrap for the fair.