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FLORIDA FAIR NEWS CONTINUED.………...…………………………………………. y La

The Adventures of a Fair-Man B

eh J Nri, Lk ony Fi ors ae Cut ar On July 27, 2010, a long-time vendor and part of the Lake

County Fair family, Darrell Baker, lost his battle with pancre- atic cancer. The very next day Happy Norris left the state headed north to Indiana to be with Darrell’s friends and fam- ily, and to pay his respects to a good friend. Happy thought while he was headed north, he’d find out

where Lake County Fair’s carnival was playing and maybe drop by for a visit. It just so happened that Belle City Amuse- ments was playing in Madisonville, KY at the Hopkins County Fair. Happy stopped and had a little visit with Charles and Miss Mary Panacek. After a nice visit with part of the Panacek family he continued north to make it to Palmyra, Indiana, in time for the Darrell’s visitation. Once he left the interstate in Palmyra he passed a few

Demolition Derby cars, and knew there must be a County Fair around somewhere. Happy asked around at the Visitation, and sure enough, the Harrison County Fair was open! He de- cided to go that night to check it out. He was surprised to run into Jeremy Floyd of Cumberland Valley Shows, the midway company for the Harrison County Fair. Cumberland Valley Shows played the Lake County Fair for nearly 25 years, and it was nice for Happy to run into Jeremy, who grew up at his Fair. After the funeral, Happy did like any Fair-person would do

and got out his IAFE Directory to see what Fairs he could visit while he was in that part of the country. He decided to head over to the Porter County Fair in Valparaiso, Indiana, managed by Lonnie Steele. While walking the grounds and checking out the Porter County Fair, Happy ran into some of the conces- sionaires from his Fair. Matt & Kathy Wilkins with Airbrush Art were very surprised to see him so far from home. He also saw Joe Potillo of Potillo’s Sanitation and had a nice visit with Jeff Blomsness of North American Midways Entertainment. The next day, Happy decided to cut across Northern Indiana

to go to Monroe, Michigan to make the opening day of the Monroe County Fair, managed by Warren Siebarth. While on the grounds he ran into concessionaires Charles Steiner of Wisconsin Cheese and Ron Smith. Happy decided it was time to head back to sunny Florida,

but not before stopping by the Indiana State Fair. He knew that the Fair would not be open for 4 more days, but he also knew that if he didn’t stop to see the Porcelli’s he could be in big trouble with Eddie Jr. The fairgrounds were buzzing with the excitement of opening at the end of the week, and it is always fun and exciting to see how Fairs come together. Happy tried to stop in to see IAFE President, Cindy Hoye while he was on the grounds, but as everyone knows, it’s hard to catch the Manager in the office the week of a Fair opening. He also made another pit stop in Evansville, Indiana, to visit

Marty Brady of Brady’s Amusements and his brother-in-law John L. Marconi. Marty grew up with Cumberland Valley Shows, so they are old fair-friends that go way back! All in all, Happy traveled over 3,200 miles in 6 days, visiting

5 fairs and numerous colleagues and friends. If you ever find yourself traveling throughout the country in the summertime, maybe you should take along your IAFE Directory to see if

“Celebrating 25 Years of a Wheelin’, Squealin’ Good Time” It’s the 25th Anniversary for this year’s Clay County Agri-

cultural Fair. The Fair is scheduled for March 31st – April 9, 2011. The Board adopted the theme “Celebrating 25 Years of a Wheelin’, Squealin’ Good Time” to celebrate the anni- versary. This is always an exciting time for us …a new Board was

set at the end of June. They elected the same officers as 2010. They are: Chairman - Larry Lancaster; Vice Chair- man—Johnny Mack Smith; Secretary—Glenn Lassiter; Treasurer—Andrea Tharp. We welcomed Wayne Heath as a new Board member this year. One of the first jobs after electing officers is committee

assignments, and a fresh start to planning hours of opera- tion, daily themes and promotions for our 25th Annual Fair. Our team is very active with budgets, sponsor partners to

contact, website updates, and vendors to contact. Yes there’s a lot to do in the “off season” for us. As usual with most Fairs, our dream projects are more

than our allowed financial resources. However, we have made plans to continue to make capital improvements. Plans this year include: Admissions: Add new main ticket gate entrance; Improve

drainage and possibly add walkways to improve pedestrian safety. Early Florida Village: Add new drive-thru gate for enter-

tainers behind buildings to improve guest safety; Add 5 new trees to village. Livestock: Purchase additional panels for livestock opera-

tion; Improve lighting in front of the J.P. Hall Livestock Pa- vilion; Add electrical improvements for commercial ven- dors in the Livestock area; Grounds: Improve lighting in front of J. P. Hall Family

Pavilion; Add new reflective exit signs and fencing around pond and additional directional signage to improve safety. Administration: Upgrade office PC’s We are again being aggressive. We were blessed with a

good Fair in 2010 and our goal is to strive to make continu- ous improvements to our operation and infrastructure. We will be meeting with our Midway provider, Deggeller

Attractions, in November at the Volusia County Fair to plan our layout. We are optimistic about our 2011 Fair, even though the

economy is still sluggish. We had the same conditions in 2010 and it worked to our favor. As we all do, we’re hoping to be blessed with good weather. We enjoyed our best fair ever in 2010 with 10 days of

perfect weather. We have big numbers to beat but we are optimistic. Our plans are to have the best fair ever.. The Fair dates are March 31 – April 9, 2011. We hope your schedule will allow you to join us and help celebrate our 25th Anniversary.


there are any Fairs around you! It will definitely make for good memories and stories to tell others in our industry.

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