The New Lincoln County Fair was packed with people all last weekend, dramatically exceeding expectations. They and many others were more than pleasantly surprised. Even a rain deluge on Saturday didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of fair goers who seemed to genuinely enjoy the change in theme and environment that the new fair managers brought to the fairgrounds – an emphasis on Lincoln County as a community and as a delightful and prosperous place to live.
Fair Manager Todd Williver of OSU Extension said their hometown approach worked and worked very well. Crowds were large, exhibitors were busy, various sectors of Lincoln County’s economy were well represented – fishing, tourism, marine science, 4H and others. All in all a very successful debut of the new theme of the fair – Celebrating Life in Lincoln County.
There were traditional entertainment options of course, like great food, carnival rides, great music and the ever popular, ever explosive Bullriding competition whose crowds, we’re told, were more than double the average of the past few county fairs. The Johnny Cash tribute folks were a huge hit according to Williver. Every chair was full with another 150 forced to be part of the standing-room-only crowd.
Four-H exhibitors said they’d never seen the barns so full of people. Fishing exhibits drew large crowds as they learned about Black Cod pots, watching nets that concentrate on fish intended for catching without catching the ones that shouldn’t be caught. And the shark dissection display was a big draw.
Other hometown exhibitors included those focusing on whales, how to grow small businesses, help veterans, enhance early childhood care, the Central Coast Childhood Development Center, even a group that provided baby “changing stations.” Full service by any measure
Despite the big success of The New Lincoln County Fair, Williver and OSU Extension’s Michele Osterholdt report they’re already looking forward to next year’s fair to make it even better. Williver said he’d like to see a deeper and richer representation of local artists and artisans because, he says, the coast is enfused with them – glass blowers, driftwood sculptors, chainsaw artists, and painters and multi-media crafters of every artistic persuasion. “We’re going to work on that for next year,” he vowed.
Williver also indicated that he’s pondering whether to keep the fair open past its Sunday evening closing time of 6pm. He said the bullriding event had just ended and yet there was still excitement in the air and a desire for the fair to stretch out a little farther – like with a closing musical event to allow fair-goers to linger for the music, but for ew-visiting their favorite vendors.
Osterholdt said they’ll be making it wider known that the fair needs volunteers to keep everything working smoothly. She said the volunteers they had were wonderful, hard working and acted in the spirit of a truly hometown fair. She said she’ll be advertising for volunteers earlier next year.
Williver added that the Lincoln County Fair Board and other county officials were very pleased with this year’s adventure into this year’s “something new” for the fair. He said his own OSU Extension workers were well pleased and once they tally attendance and revenue numbers, he predicts the university will be very pleased as well.