As the 2006 Putnam County Fair approaches, preparations are being nailed down for the nine eventful days running July 21-29, including changes in admission prices and scheduling.
New to the fair this year will be walk-in admission at the gates of $1 per person.
The Fair Board has decided on the charge not only to generate income, but to discourage people from parking along U.S. 231 outside the fairgrounds property and walking along the highway.
"It's dangerous," board member Rick Judy noted. "And it's cheaper to buy a parking pass."
Costs for parking are $5 for a one-time admission, $7 for a week-long pass in advance, or $10 for a pass during the week of the fair. The fairgrounds has also expanded its property, and parking in the far lot can mean easier entry and exit from the property. Fair parking passes will go on sale next week at area businesses.
Meanwhile, changes in the schedule are being finalized, and the annual fair book is on its way to the printer.
The fair book, a long-time standard for entry requirements, forms, schedules and instructions, has been pared down and reorganized. It will be available in a few weeks.
A new location for the evening meals prepared by the Producer's Organization has also been established.
The former Jaycees building at the fairgrounds has now been turned over to the producers, which will serve their fund-raising dinners during the fair. The swine producers will serve on Sunday and Tuesday. Beef producers will serve on Monday and Wednesday. Poultry producers will serve on Thursday, and Dairy producers will serve on Friday. Starting time is 5 p.m., with closing at 10 p.m.
In other business, the fair board:
-- Learned that $4,750 has been donated so far toward fair premium money to be awarded to 4-H youth for their entries. Donations are still being accepted.
-- Announced that 29.6 acres of adjoining property now officially belongs to the fairgrounds. The purchase price of $177,600 was paid to Windy Hill Country Club for the property. It is financed at 40 years at a 4.5 percent fixed interest rate.
-- Heard that 2,488 projects have been signed up by more than 900 county 4-H'ers.
-- The next meeting of the fair board has been moved up one week to precede the start of the fair. It is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 17 in the community building.
Also, the annual fair queen pageant is set for 7 p.m. Saturday,July 15 in the community building. Admission is $2.