Fair board making wish list of needs
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ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Fair board has come up with a wish list of things they will need to make the 2011 fair a success.
Ten-year board veteran Jaralee Mania said a lack of state funding has taken a toll on the county fair over the past few years.
“We have not received any state funding for three years now. We used to receive matching funds for a number of services and that has been held back by the state,” she said. “When cut backs came, the fair funding was one of the first things to be cut.”
With no other options the board decided to take their campaign to the public, asking for help.
“We want to be able to continue the Arenac County Fair because we think it is a great event for the community,” she said. “We need the community’s help now if we are going to do it.”
Included on the list of items Mania said the fair will need before the beginning of the fair, sand, fill dirt, gravel, saw dust, cash donations, volunteers are welcome to help. After the fair she said people can volunteer to help clean up adding that the board is also looking for a tractor with a blade.
Mania said the Arenac County Fair board has continued to work on a “shoestring budget.”
“We go every year and don’t know if we will be able to pay for some of our exhibits,” she said. “Sometimes we have to wait until after the fair to see what we have left.”
Mania said the fair has received some financial support from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, but said some of that funding is not going to be available for the 2011 fair.
“We are grateful that they are still helping us,” she said.
Mania said a number of challenges have come to the operation of the fair as a result of the lack of funding.
“The upkeep of the grounds, maintenance of the buildings and things we have to pay for all year, like electricity has become difficult,” she said. “We’re there one week, but we still have to pay bills all year long.”
Mania said the board wants to be able to pay for different attractions so exhibits around the fair can continue.
She added that the board will wait to see how much money is made during the fair before they consider fundraising efforts.
“We are going to wait and see after the fair and we will see what we owe and go from there,” she said.
Anyone interested in volunteering or making donations can contact Melanie Sobieray at 989-846-4461, or Bob Stein at 989-846-4185.
The Arenac County Fair will be held July 12-16 at the Arenac County Fairgrounds located along Airpark Drive in Standish.