Sunday, 14 July 2024

It's a wrap: Another exciting year for the Lake County Fair

LAKEPORT – The annual Lake County Fair came to a close at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6, after four great days of fun and excitement at the fairgrounds in Lakeport.


“We had incredibly good weather, lots of great activities and fantastic support from throughout Lake County,” said fair Chief Executive Officer Richard Persons. “Everyone had a good time and we got lots of very positive comments. The staff and volunteers are all tired, but planning has already started for another great run in 2010.”


Persons said they're still crunching the numbers, but it appears the fair was about even in total gate revenues and up in other areas, like the carnival and food sales.


He said preliminary carnival numbers indicated an increase of nearly 12 percent in ride revenues, largely driven by the free hour of admission offered on Friday evening.


“That one free hour brought in 3,087 people, and admission ticket sales the rest of the night were nearly average for a Friday, so everything else on the fairgrounds benefited from that bump in attendance,” he said. “Saturday saw nearly a 10-percent jump in ticket sales at the gate.”


The Lake County Fair does not release specific gate attendance figures, but Persons explained that he expected the final total attendance numbers to be up slightly, with many people taking advantage of discounted tickets that were available in the weeks prior to the event.

 

Once again, the junior livestock program was a main attraction for fairgoers, with the number of animals entered in the 4-H and FFA contests about even with 2008, he said.


Persons said there was a shift from the market animal contests into the breeding animal contests, which Persons said is good for the long-term health of the programs.


“Breeding animal projects require a longer term, more intensive commitment from the kids, which in turn encourages more involvement from their siblings and friends, and all of that leads to better knowledge and understanding of animal husbandry and agriculture in general,” said Persons.

 

Other animal attractions included miniature farm animals provided by Oops Ranch, an open goat show, and draft horse wagon rides from Eleven Roses Ranch.

 

This year's attractions in the main grandstand included an invitational sheep dog trials, the traditional demolition derby, mud bog races and the California State Finals of the WGAS Tuff Truck Races. The main grandstand arena was sponsored by Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino.


“The motorized entertainment continues to pack the seats at Lake County Fair,” said Persons, adding “the sheep dog trials struggled to find an audience, which is too bad really. It's a fascinating and intense sport, and we'll be discussing the possibility of 2010 show, but it'll take some more intensive promotion if we go that way again.”


Local acts and attractions were the rule at the 2009 Lake County Fair, he said.


Entertainment on the Theatre Main Stage included local acts like the Hip Replacements, Side of Blues, the Mark Weston Band, Bill Noteman and the Rockets, the Bottle Rock Blues and Rhythm Band, and the Lake County Amateur Talent Competition.


The Enhance H2O Stage hosted Mike Wilhelm and Jim Williams playing solo guitar, the Carter and Chambers Duo, and the Kustom Cuts playing rockabilly.


Special appearances by magician Ken Garr, and Mickey the Clown were complemented by the performances by Chaz Marquette the juggling unicyclist.

 

“We want to thank all of the fairgoers, participants and sponsors of this year’s event,” said fair board president Janeane Bogner of Clearlake Oaks. “This event is truly a celebration of life in Lake County, and it takes participation from everyone to make it a success.”

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