|There's Country in the Air fair deemed a success by fair board|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Despite cool temperatures at times and competing with a number of other nearby fairs and other events, Phillips County Fair board members are pleased with how well attended and received the 2013 Phillips County Fair was.
Heavy rain suspended county team roping Wednesday, July 24. The event was unable to finish as the rainfall persisted. The open roping portion of the night wasn’t even started.
Animal weigh-ins and judging dominated much of Thursday’s activities before wrapping up Friday afternoon. Thursday night also included a pitch tournament, which 12 people attended.
Friday saw a number of new events attract crowds at the Phillips County Fairgrounds. To the delight of many, a mud volleyball tournament was put on for the first time as part of the fair. Nine teams of four to five players competed on the mud court throughout the day. Action began at 9 a.m. and did not conclude until 3:30 p.m.
Fair board president Ron Thompson noted that the event was so well-received that it will likely be moved to the weekend next year to allow more people to participate. Another court may be added as well to speed up the tournament.
Homesteaders Park was home to the annual Friday night barbecue that kicked off a night full of activities. After roughly 400 people enjoyed their meals prepared by R&B Catering, many flocked to the fairgrounds for Family Fun Night and carnival fun.
Children were treated to three inflatable rides that were new to the fair this year. Purchased by the Heginbotham Trust, the inflatable slides and bounce house were popular throughout the weekend.
Thompson said the board would like to add another inflatable attraction every year if possible.
In the last event of the day, the last bull rider got into the spirit of the fair as he was launched from his bull into the air at the Sunday, July 28 Mexican rodeo. The rodeo marked the end of another successful fair in Phillips County. More fair photos and coverage can be viewed inside this week’s and next week’s Enterprise. —Enterprise photo
Family Farm Olympics drew a good number of participants and spectators as entrants raced through a series of tasks in team relays. An ATV rodeo closed out Friday night events at the fairgrounds. An estimated 150 people watched as over 20 entrants competed in poles, barrels, key hole and hide races.
Growing from the ATV events during last year’s tough trucks competition, this was the first year the ATV rodeo was a featured event. Thompson said the fair board received a lot of positive comments about the event. He noted that with the popularity of ATVs in the area, the event could become an annual event at the county fair.
The Juke Joint Cruisers provided the musical entertainment for Friday and Saturday nights as they performed outside of the arena.
Over 40 people also participated in bingo Friday night.
Holyoke streets were packed Saturday morning as people came out in the chilly weather to watch the parade roll through. Before long, the crowds moved back to the fairgrounds for more fair fun.
Saturday was highlighted by a pet show, salsa contest, horseshoe pitching contest, cow patty bingo, pedal tractor pull and a catch-it-rabbit contest.
Close to 800 people attended the Phillips County Raceway Saturday night where they were treated to fast-action stock car racing.
A community church service and round robin took place Sunday before the Mexican rodeo made its first appearance at the PC Fair.
Thompson said the board received a number of compliments about the event as people were pleased to see something new and different take place at the fair. While 300 people were on hand to witness the showmanship of the rodeo, Thompson said the weather most likely kept the event from being much larger as rain south and east of Holyoke may have scared away some possible spectators.
Thompson also mentioned that promoting the Mexican rodeo was difficult at times because most of the event takes place in Spanish and there was a bit of mystery as far as what would be included in the show.Both English and Spanish announcers were used at the rodeo.
Very pleased with how the fair played out, Thompson said he and other board members were very impressed with the lack of problems at the fair. He said parents should be commended as all of the children were well-behaved while they enjoyed the fair attractions.
Holyoke Enterprise August 1, 2013