If you want to realize how fast time goes by, look at The Missourian of 25 years ago. To refresh memories, and since we are near Fair time in Washington, we glanced at The Missourian of July-August 1992 to see what went on at the annual Town and Country Washington Fair.
Dan Cassette was Fair chairman in 1992. His co-chairman was Don Biermann. The Fair Board had 22 members.
Gross receipts were $396,731, down $88,000 from the year before. Now the Fair grosses more than $1 million. It was a five-day event in 1992, just as now.
Shuttle buses were used that year just as they are now. The Fair had tram shuttle transportation from the west parking lot to the fairgrounds.
The 1992 Fair queen was Sara Noelker. The queen’s court consisted of Joley Mitchell, first runner-up; Lori Voss, second runner-up; and Bobbie Baravik, Miss Congeniality. Melissa Peters, one of the queen contestants, sold $7,146 in tickets to the Fair. The total sold by all the queen candidates was $64,776.
Among the entertainers were Sawyer Brown, who did two shows on Sunday; Seals and Crofts performed Saturday night; and Desert Rose was featured on Friday night.
It was the first year the Fair moved the entertainment events from the arena area to the west end of the fairgrounds, which had been used mainly for parking. Chairs were used for seating, as is the situation now. However, now there is the permanent stage/building. A “portable” stage was used before the permanent stage/building was constructed.
McDonald’s Restaurants bought the grand champion steer at the livestock auction. It had the winning bid on Kevin Dunn’s steer, which was sold for $2,688. Dunn was from St. Clair.
Dolan Realtors purchased the grand champion hog from David Kopmann of New Haven. The price was $1,487. The grand champion lamb was sold to Dr. Frank Miller for $854. The exhibitor was Annie Williams, Robertsville.
Police Chief Danny Rowden said the Fair was easy to work compared to some other fairs. No serious incidents were reported.
A total of 274 persons were treated at the first aid station. Most were heat related.
Each of the modern-day fairs is a story in itself. Ask veteran Fair Board members. Talk to past Fair Board chairmen. They can tell you about something that happened that stands out in their memories.
One thing all Fair chairmen have worried about. It is the weather. The Fair goes on, regardless of the weather.
The Fair is the largest event staged in Washington each year. It also involves the most volunteers. The Fair brings people together like no other event.