BUCYRUS — Looking back at the 2019 Crawford County Fair, the heat and rain played a large factor in attendance and other scheduled activities, said Fair Board President Roger Auck.
“We really didn’t have a wrap up meeting yet, but we had three days of rain and three days of excessive heat. That hurts right there on gate,” he said. “The harness racing, we had one night rained out so we had it Friday morning. You do get a lot of people in the stands to watch that.
“The bands? We would have liked to see more people there,” Auck said. “It was a free concert and people could come and go, so we really don’t have a number of exactly how many people were there. When you get rain at 5 p.m. a lot of people change their minds and decide not to go to the fair because it rained or it was too hot. Rain and heat … it really hurts. We did the best we could with what Mother Nature threw at us.”
The main attraction for many is the animals. And they fared well, despite the heat and humidity.
“The animals all fared well. The kids took real good care of them and kept them watered and fed good,” Auck said. “You have to keep them watered good when it’s so hot. They all did a good job there.
“I really haven’t heard much on the livestock sale other than it went smooth,,” he said. ” I don’t have the final numbers on that yet, and I’m guessing the amount of animals that sold was about the same as last year.”
Auck said the popularity of different livestock projects at the fair this year saw lower numbers in the steer category.
“The steer numbers are going down more because it’s year-long project,” he noted. “You have your goats and dairy feeders that are up there with decent numbers yet. Pigs, poultry and rabbits, you don’ t have those things near as long as a steer. Those steer numbers are down some because not many kids actually live on the farm anymore.”
During fair week, Auck said kids do more than just sit around watching their animals.
“They have to keep their pens cleaned, and some barns have barn duty where it’s your job to organize a group to keep the barns clean. And the aisle-ways. if someone drops straw on them it has to be cleaned up,” he noted. “They keep their animals cleaned and show ready and keep them nice so when people walk through they see a nice, clean animal.”
Auck said he feels it’s important to have county fairs for many reasons.
”One thing, is it’s a local thing,” he said. “Not everybody goes to the state fairs and stuff like that. You can go to your own county and see shows and see the animals. Sometimes it’s the only time some kids see animals.
“It’s good for 4H and FFA,” he said. “Those are good organizations to be in. You meet a lot of different people. You can make friends with someone other than kids at your school. Your’re meeting kids from other parts of the county … and that all adds up.”
Looking at next year, Auck said the board will talk about that at future meetings as to if any changes are going be made.
“I know I’d like to see more people show up and support our county, support our local 4H clubs and FFA’s,” he said. “Come out and support them. The more people in the county that support them the better off everything is. And the more support that the Agricultural Society gets, the more events we can put on.”