The 2018 Highland County Fair came to a close over the weekend with lower-than-normal attendance as a front of rain hung over the area much of Friday and Saturday, coordinators said.
Highland County Senior Fair Board Member Charlie Davidson said despite the weather, “it was really a pretty smooth fair,” and Fair Board Executive Secretary Dave Stratton said coordinators are in a good place to start planning next year’s festivities.
Davidson said the weather was hot for the first half of the week and wet for the last, which dinged attendance.
“That’s usually the way Highland County goes,” he joked. “The rain is what killed it.”
Even so, Stratton estimated roughly 12,000 general admission tickets were sold, plus another 4,000 season passes, not counting tickets sold prior to the beginning of the fair.
Stratton said there were roughly 1,500 to 2,000 junior fair tickets good for the week and another 3,000 season passes sold beforehand.
During a phone interview Monday, Stratton, who was working on his farm two miles north of Hillsboro, said the number he was most interested in was the one shown on the rain gauge; his read four inches from Saturday night’s rain alone.
“It was pretty muddy at the fairgrounds,” Stratton said. “In fact, there are still a lot of RVs there with people waiting to pull them out.”
Tractor pulls, a main attraction at the fair, were canceled Saturday, but an indoor cheerleading competition drew quite a crowd, he said.
Davidson thanked his fellow fair board members for doing “a great job” running the fair.
“I thank everybody who came out and supported us with the senior fair and junior fair,” he said. “We hope they come back and support everything next year.”
Stratton also thanked area residents for attending the fair and supporting the kids.
“I’d say it’s a good place to start rebuilding for next year,” he said. “We’ll start on that next week.”
Stratton joked that the fair board will be in good shape if they can find a way to control the weather.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.