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Faircracker SUMMER 2019 “It’s Showtime”


This year’s Florida Federation of Fairs Annual Convention and IAFE Zone 2 Meeting was held May 16-18


It’s Showtime –There was plenty to show and do as well as learn at this 68th meeting. Coming back to the Renaissance Hotel at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, was like “Coming Home.” We have met there several times and, as it is con- nected to the St John’s County Convention Center, it is ideal. The trade show with 106 vendors was a sell out with 160 associates in attendance, total attendance was close to 500.


The Convention Program Committee, chaired by Bill Olson, CFE, President and CEO of the Greater Jacksonville Ag Fair, planned a great convention. The Committee spent a great deal of time finding topics to relate to current issues in the industry. Animal Welfare or Animal Rights – The True Story – Protecting the Culture of our Fairs. This was presented in two parts. Other topics included Social Media, Evaluating Vendors, the Security/Emergency Preparedness workshop was sponsored by Laz Parking.


Having Zone 2 again join the event has broadened our horizons and has given us additional resources for speakers and participants in Educational Workshops and Discussion Sessions. 28 Zone 2 attendees represented 12 Fairs. The tradi- tional welcome reception was held Thursday evening in our expanded hospitality room sponsored by Etix. The Zone 2 meeting was held Saturday morning where past NICA President Greg Miller offered a $1000 donation for a Zone 2 Scholarship to the IAFE Convention. Jes- sica Underburg, IAFE chair spoke about the theme, Champions of Change. Marla Calico, IAFE President/CEO spoke about the convention to be held in San Antonio December 1-4. Reservations are open for hotel rooms through the IAFE Conven- tion website. Zone 2 scholarships were presented to: Tom Eshelman, Shenandoah County Fair, Woodstock, VA; Melinda Harbin, Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair, Westminster, South Carolina.


The event kicked off on Wednesday, May 15th, with the Annual Giles Ellis Golf Tournament which was held at the St. John’s Golf & Country Club. The tournament had over 50 participants. We are fortunate to have so many sponsors for this event, we have 14 Fairs and 10 Associates who help put this event on. See a list of sponsors on page 9.


Wednesday also featured the 3rdd year of an event sponsored by the YPI Committee which was the Mix & Mingle Haunt- ed Pub Tour. It was open to everyone but was sponsored by our YPI Committee and Collier County Fair, co-sponsored by Ross Concessions and the St. Lucie County Fair. This year the YPI committee chose the Lee Conlee House in Putnam County as the beneficiary of their annual charity drive. The Lee Conlee House supports victims of domestic vio- lence with shelter, counseling, support groups and offers education. See presentation on page


Registration sponsored by Saffire Events with tickets provided by Indiana Ticket Company, kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with tote bags sponsored by NICA and Strates Shows and notepads sponsored by Belle City Amusements. Name badges were supplied by K & K Insurance with the ribbons provided by Regalia Mfg. Co. Signage throughout the convention was designed by the South Florida Fair and produced by Dorado Graphix. E.G. Staats provided the Podium Signs and Board Pins. New this year was hotel key cards supplied byWade Shows.


Coffee stations were in the workshop area and provided by Jeffrey Allen, Inc, Allied Specialty Insurance, Manatee County Fair, North Florida Fair, along with The Best Around.


Activities have increased in the Trade Show This year the Trade Show was sponsored by Jeffrey Allen, Inc, Allied Specialty Insurance, Florida State Fair, Strates Shows, Triangle Talent, and Marc Dobson, The One-Man Band. Activities included Lunch on Friday, Showcases, Silent Auction sponsored by Central Florida Fair, even a Happy Hour sponsored byWade Shows, the Florida State Fair provided the decorations and Whirley Drink Works provided the glasses for Happy Hour .Door prizes sponsored by Allied Specialty Insurance, Duttera Sound, Florida State Fair, Strates Shows, Triangle Talent and March Dobson, The One Man Band were awarded every day. But the “The Great Cash Giveaway!” sponsored by Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo keeps everyone around for the duration.


A First Time Attendee Networking Session was held with a question and answer period. Several past presidents and other “old timers” were on hand to help. This was sponsored by the Hardee County Fair.


Page 9


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