Board considers moving up dates of fair
While David Todd, Fair Board chairman, said it's a remote possibility that the fair would be moved from the traditional August to July, he said it's worth considering.
"There were enough people who said it's too close to the start of school that we put this feeler out to see what people wanted to do," Todd said Monday.
Fair dates for 2006 and 2007 already are established - both during the second week in August. The Fair Board is contemplating holding the 2008 fair July 15 through 19, and Todd said that if the fair were moved to July, it permanently would be held around the middle of July each year.
So far, response to a change is lukewarm, at best.
"The majority want to leave it where it's at, mainly because of sports," Todd said. "If you go into July, you're in the middle of baseball season."
In addition, many sports camps are held in July. Also, some national livestock shows are scheduled for July, including the National Junior Cattle Show.
"We've got several families from Leavenworth County who participate in that every year," Todd said.
If the fair isn't moved, it will be held Aug. 12 through 15 in 2008.
"And that's kind of a late fair," Todd said.
It's entirely possible that school would start the following week.
"We are just trying to get some information to see what the general consensus was on what people wanted to do," Todd said. "We wanted to try to come to some kind of conclusion by the end of this year."
That's because the Fair Board usually books the fair carnival two years in advance. And while some people have suggested abandoning the carnival, Todd said it's an important economic aspect of the fair.
"That carnival generates from $8,000 to $10,000 in revenue," he said.
And while moving the fair up a week - holding it the first week in August - would be the best solution for Leavenworth County fairgoers and participants, doing so would also have some adverse impact.
The McLouth Threshing Bee is the first weekend in August.
"So that would be devastating to them," Todd said.
And the Leavenworth County Fair would be up against the Wyandotte County Fair. Many livestock buyers attend both. And if those buyers decided to attend the Wyandotte County event instead of the Leavenworth County Fair, 4-H'ers would see lower prices for their livestock.
"That's why one week doesn't fit into the equation," Todd said.
The Fair Board's annual meeting - during which officers are elected - will be Nov. 21. The issue likely will be discussed then, but no action is expected until the board's Dec. 19 meeting, Todd said.