We knew it was a great Washington Fair, the 2012 event in August, and that feeling was reinforced after the annual report on it was given at the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce business meeting held last week. Dale Westhoff, Fair chairman, presented the report.
The Fair theme this year was “Making Memories” and the event lived up to those words. The Fair is much more than making a profit, which is important, but it does have activities that live in the minds of fairgoers forever. It does bring the area community together for five days to enjoy a wide range of entertainment, contests, including livestock judging and an auction, displays, fellowship, carnival rides and booths, food, motor sports, and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the most important aspect of the Fair is the work of volunteers involved in all kinds of jobs that make it a success.
The Fair makes money that is used for fairgrounds improvements and other civic projects. The Fair is under the sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce, the leader in civic improvements. Without the volunteers, there wouldn’t be much profit.
For nine consecutive years the Fair’s economic impact has gone over the $1 million mark. It was $1.1 million, up $88,518 from the year before. The net profit was $176,789, an increase of about $95,000 from the year before.
The 2012 Fair also will be remembered because of the weather. The Fair had to be shut down early Friday night due to the weather. There was lost revenue, but there were no injuries. It was rather a tense time for Fair officials and fairgoers. We don’t remember the fairgrounds being evacuated in the past that early in the night.
The Washington Fair has a statewide — make that regionwide — reputation for its operations. The Fair has been fortunate to have the leadership it has had in the past and it continues to have it today. The volunteers also have a reputation for their lasting spirit. There isn’t another event in this area that brings together so many people in such a cooperative spirit. It is worth holding just for the relationships that are built and endure.
The Fair is one of the most valuable assets the Washington area has. We are among the many who look with awe and pride on what a wholesome volunteer enterprise the Washington Fair is. Congratulations to those who made it happen again this year!