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Hardee County Fair 77th In February 2018, the Hardee County Fair Association hosted the 77th annual


Hardee County Fair with the theme “Where every Heart beats true ‘neath the red, white and blue.” This year’s fair began with the installation of a new poultry barn and new rabbit


barn for fair exhibitors. The 2018 fair boasted the largest number of swine exhibi- tors at 146 with a total of 347 swine, steer, dairy, poultry and rabbits shown. Our number of citrus tree exhibitors increased as well with the grand champion garnering $3,000 at auction. This


year’s community participation was once again outstanding allowing us to take in over $400,000 in sales and add-ons for exhibitors and having over 200 community volunteers. We crowned 5 new Queens and one new Prince with over 120 contestants participating. Our midway provided by Arnold Amusements was the largest yet as was our


attendance with sixteen thousand fair goers. A new software system was in- stalled in our main entrance, which provided greater efficiency in counting num- bers of fair attendees and money. Our fair sponsorship program continues to grow allowing us to make capital


improvements on the grounds and providing funds to add to our family fair expe- rience. This year’s fair continued to capitalize on last year’s improvements fo- cusing on our welcoming porch decorated in Americana to fit this year’s theme. We once again kicked off our fair hosting the Hardee Leadership Team from our Chamber of Commerce educating our community on the value of our fair. After this year’s fair, we installed three Big Ass fans in our arena and are working on a permanent structure for our steer grooming, which will be installed adjacent to the arena. In April, we hosted our annual Livestock Awards Banquet serving meals to over 400 exhibitors and their families providing awards, buyer’s checks, and prizes.


At the Livestock Supporter Dinner, these


board members and volunteers helped cook and serve the meal. left to right: Darin Hughes; Greg Conley; Scot Gilliard; and Kelly Miller.


Helping at the Livestock buyer dinner board members: (l to r) Ray Gill; Janet Gilliard; and Dusty Mendoza.


High school Key Club Volunteers helping to


serve. (l to r) Maribel Rodriguez; Alexis Neel; Savannah Valletutti; and Kaela Villegas.


At left: Terry Atchley with Fair supporters Doyle Carlton III and Ronnie Durrance.


The Hardee County Fair Royalty and


the Hardee County Cattlemen's Sweetheart with Terry Atchley.


At left: Joey Evans, Manager for Arnold Amusements and Terry Atchley, President of the Hardee County Fair.


FAIRCRACKER-SUMMER 2018 41


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