The schedule of events for the 2017 Yellow Medicine County Fair began to take shape during the Feb. 9 meeting. The grandstand schedule has been finalized and, same as last year, will be demo derbies (including a new half-car skid race) Thursday, July 13; Great Plains tractor pull Friday, July 14; and baja races Saturday, July 15. Payout amounts were upped for all classes of the demo derbies and baja races. The Pavilion line-up is still adjusting. The Canby Fire Department will hold a firemen's dance Saturday evening, meaning the hypnotist will have to be re-scheduled to either Friday or earlier in the day Saturday. An answer hadn't been received yet from the Larry Olsen Band. Gabby Nemitz was present to talk to the board about maintenance to the 4-H livestock facilities. Every barn needs work, including new fans and electrical work in most of them, along with many other items specific to each barn.
Following the discussion with Nemitz, the board decided to cancel the previous decision to use grant money to bring in a magician with an ag-related show and, instead, put a larger amount of grant money toward upgrades to the livestock facilities. Around $2200 of grant money will go toward judges fees, $600 towards ag-related demonstrations, and whatever remains of the $10,000-plus grant will go toward necessary repairs and upgrades.
The kids pedal pull is confirmed for Saturday, July 15, at 1 p.m. The UBRA barrel racing is being checked on with the horse project members as they are a crucial part of running it. Painting sessions and Ag Olympics will be scheduled. The Canby Fire Department will have a demonstration of cutting into a car on Thursday, July 13, around 5 p.m., prior to the demo derbies. A new idea brought up was a drunk goggle obstacle course. This will be looked into to see if goggles can be borrowed for it, and if so, details will be hashed out more fully. Having a raffle or cash drawings was discussed as a way to keep people on the grounds. The complication is not having a gate where names or tickets could be collected.
It was decided to add to last year's drawing during the baja races and expand it to other grandstand shows as well since this is the only area where tickets can be collected for a drawing. Prizes will be collected, and cash prizes could be added as well. The redesigned premium list concept of having sponsors instead of ads in a book is pretty much finalized. A letter explaining the change and a form to be brought to sponsors are nearly complete and will start being brought to previous advertisers in the next couple weeks.
The charge for inserting in the two county newspapers will be around $200, compared to the more than $1,000 for mailing out the 80-page book. Hiring of the sound system, veterinarian, electrical person, and night watch were discussed. These have traditionally carried over the same person from year to year, as long as they are willing, but some changes were discussed for 2017. Being there are two electricians in the area, it was felt they should both be given a chance.
Also, night watch used to be done by the parents of 4-H horse members. Since the number of horses has dwindled, the board has hired it done, but it was brought up that maybe it could go back to 4-H and include all species. As an example, horse and poultry could cover one night, swine and sheep another night, and beef and dairy the third night. This will be brought to the 4-H members to see if they are interested. The pay going out for night watch would then go to 4-H. The next meeting will be Thursday, March 16, at PK Egans. Meeting time is 7 p.m., and the room is available at 6:30 p.m. for those wishing to have supper.