With opening day less than a week away, the Putnam County Fair Board has finalized plans for the 2006 Fair by reaffirming walk-in admission rates and settling a building dispute.
In an attempt to discourage people from parking at businesses along U.S. 231 or Edgelea Drive and walking along the busy highway to reach the fairgrounds, a $1 per person walk-in admission fee has been set for the first time. The fee could also discourage adults from dropping off carloads of unsupervised children at the front gate.
Starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, the $1 admission will be collected for walk-ins. People who have purchased a weekly parking pass can gain only one free walk-in admission using the pass, which is good for a vehicle full of people if presented at the north parking gate.
Fair Board members on Monday restated their concern about the pedestrian traffic along the highway. The actual traffic entry and exit onto the highway is often dangerous enough without the added distraction of dodging people walking across the highway. Area police log multiple traffic accidents at the fairgrounds entrance each year.
Board president Ken Heeke said the adult participants in the animal barns will alternate and share the responsibility of collecting the walk-in fees. Each evening shift will run from 4 p.m. until 8 or 9 o'clock, depending on the flow of walk-ins. The money collected will go to the barn that collects the fee. The fee will be charged for anyone age 6 years and older. Children age 5 and under are to be admitted free of charge, the board noted Monday.
Meanwhile, a formal vote was taken Monday to transfer use of a food service building from the Greencastle Jaycees to the various producers organizations, which will alternate nights for selling their beef, pork, chicken, dairy sandwiches.
Stacy Lewis of the Jaycees submitted a letter to the board following a June vote to turn the building over to the producers. The Jaycees had lost their non-profit charter, but Lewis said the group is now in the application process of regaining that status. The organization has sold garlic cheeseburgers in years past.
Rick Judy of the Beef Barn questioned a recent discussion by the Fair Board's executive committee about allowing the Jaycees to use the building in the future. Judy said he feels the producers should be allowed permanent use of the building since the money they make is turned over to the fairgrounds.
Judy put forward a motion to reassign the building to the producers. A second to the motion came from David Gilley of the Horse Barn
In a vote, the motion passed with 18 board members in favor, one voting against, and five abstaining.
Meanwhile, president Heeke commended a recent fundraiser at the fair queen contest that added $725 to the premium fund to be awarded to 4-H'ers.
The board also noted that this year, fair premiums will be handed out to animal exhibitors along with ribbons. That means the youths will have to be careful not to misplace or lose their ribbons and premium envelops.
Some barns will be handing out the premiums along with the ribbons, and others will be handing out the premiums later the same day. Each barn superintendent will be notifying members how the premiums will be distributed.
Premiums for the Exhibit Hall will still be handed out at designated times on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Several events preceding the fair will get under way this week, including pre-judging of some items, the Cat Show on Wednesday, fashion review, and entry of exhibit hall items on Friday. The fair parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday on Washington Street and reaches the courthouse square at 6:30 p.m.