Organizers call county fair a successA couple of rainy patches and two big grandstand no-shows couldn’t keep the Dakota County Fair down. Operations manager Don Storlie said he was very happy with activity last week. “It went really well,” Storlie said. “The weather was with us. The grounds were in great shape.”
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
A couple of rainy patches and two big grandstand no-shows couldn’t keep the Dakota County Fair down. Operations manager Don Storlie said he was very happy with activity last week.
“It went really well,” Storlie said. “The weather was with us. The grounds were in great shape.”
There was rain on a couple of days, but overall weather was much cooler than it has been in recent years, when sweltering temperatures at times made walking the fairgrounds a chore. Attendance was down overall, but Storlie said there were several days toward in the week that drew large crowds.
“The actual numbers aren’t in yet, but we know the parking lot, there were three nights the parking lot was full,” Storlie said. “We even opened up some other areas.”
Things got off to a bit of a rocky start on the first day of the fair. There was a night of motocross racing scheduled Monday night in the grandstand, but Storlie said the person putting on the event called Monday afternoon to say he couldn’t make it. A Tuesday night team demolition derby, a new attraction organizers hoped would draw more participants than a traditional derby, also had to be canceled when several of the drivers who said they would be there failed to show up.
Before the fair, derby organizer Chris Wright said seven or eight three-car teams had signed up for Tuesday’s event, but only nine drivers showed up to compete Tuesday. The fair added those drivers to a team heat at Friday’s derby.
The cancelations inspired some negative comments on the fair’s Facebook page, with several would-be derbygoers upset they paid to get into the fair and then didn’t get the show they expected. Storlie wasn’t happy with the cancelation either, but said it was better to call things off than to put on a bad show.
“We’re as frustrated as the fans are, but you can’t dwell on it,” he said. “You just move on.”
The demolition derbies scheduled later in the week all went on as planned and sold out. Saturday night’s event featured compact cars, minivans and a heat where competitors on lawn mowers tried to batter each other into submission.
Numbers were up in other areas. The classic tractor show, a longtime feature of the fair, drew 150 entrants, the most ever for the event.
Add it all up, and Storlie said it was a good year for the fair.
“There was a lot of people and they had a lot of fun,” Storlie said. “There was more people that commented that I didn’t even know that were very happy with it.”