Ag. Society recaps 2019 county fair

The Houston County Agricultural Society got a preliminary look at profits and losses from four events at this year’s Houston County Fair.

Treasurer Deb Houdek said the numbers provided at the meeting on Sunday, Sept. 22, were tentative and not all bills had been accounted yet.

The Blackhawk concert ticket sales brought in $23,540, but after paying expenses, the fair recorded a tentative loss of $11,420.41. To help cushion that, beer sales on concert night profited an estimated $8,000, Secretary Emily Johnson said.

Concert night was a record high for beer sales in a single night, she added.

In total, the income for beer sales was $32,726. After paying expenses of $10,791.37, the profit was about $21,934.63. 

The fair board did gain profit from the demolition derby – $6,573.84 – and the new Tough Trucks event – $2,410.

Finalized numbers will be announced at a later meeting.

New animal barn

Karyl Diersen asked the fair board to contribute $2,000 to the “Scare at the Fair” event on Oct. 17, 18, 19, 25 and 26, which is a fundraiser for the planned hog, sheep and goat building.

Diersen said the money would help purchase building supplies and props for the haunted house.

The board agreed to the amount, with the contingency that if equipment was purchased with the contribution, it will be used to benefit community projects in the future.

Diersen also asked if a joint meeting between the fundraising committee and building committee could be held soon. The board approved that request.

4-H update

Houston County 4-H Program Coordinator Rebecca Paulson talked to the board about the Houston County 4-H Fall Festival event to be held on Oct. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

Each club will host an activity around and inside the buildings, which range from bobbing for apples, face painting and pumpkin painting, horse rides and more, Paulson said. 

“It’s going to be a fun night for families,” she added. 

She asked the board if 4-H could use the trashcans on the grounds and make sure outdoor lights were turned on, which they granted. Depending on the electricity usage, the board might charge 4-H for that amount also.

2019 fair recap

The board talked pros and cons of this year’s fair. Board member Jessica Heberlein thanked the board for organizing the veterans night, and added the memorial for 9/11 was a nice idea.

The board liked the Tough Trucks event, as it brought in a profit and a crowd. They also considered having that event at a later time next year.

On the con side the carnival lacked in satisfaction – namely the carnival opened late two days in a row, the board said. No formal motion was made to explore other carnival options.

Other news

Johnson announced the annual meeting would be held in November. A more specific date will be announced soon.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Houston County Agricultural Society will be held Oct. 20, at 6 p.m. at Elsie’s Bar and Grill in Caledonia.