How county fairs are faring

KIMT News 3 – The season is among us, county fairs are right around the corner. Although many of us are just starting to think about them, others across the region have had their minds wrapped around livestock, carnivals, and fair events for much longer in order to make their fair a success.

Jerry Hopperstad has seen the ins and outs of the county fair world – and knows what it takes to make them a success. Worth county is where his heart is and it shows.

“We’ve had a steady increase,” says Vice President of the Iowa County Fair Board, Jerry Hopperstad.

He contributes this to volunteers, increasing amounts of show livestock, and beautiful fair grounds, but not every county is seeing such success.

“There are some that are struggling, yes,” says Hopperstad and gives a few reasons why.

“If they aren’t getting the 4-H push and getting them interested in whether it be pictures, animals, whatever the category might be. That’s 90% of this fair,” he says.

The state of Iowa has an initiative where counties can apply for $10,000 to improve their fair buildings, which helps.

“People don’t want to go out and see a rundown building,” says Hopperstad.

But it can be hard to pinpoint the problem as folks go to these events for many different reasons.

For Bob Motk, he likes to go with his grandkids and their favorite part may just come in the form of funnel cakes.

“They like to eat,” says Motk.

He has been going to fairs as long as he can remember.

“I have to stop and think here, 1959,” he says.

And he recognizes all the hard work that goes into planning and maintenance.

“I enjoy all of the work that the fair board and all the volunteers have done to make this fair better in general,” says Motk.

So, this season, you might just want to take a cue from Bob, and go support your local fair.

The Worth County Fair is always the first one in the area, it takes place June 18th through the 22nd.

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