Ready for the county fair

Foundation unveils improvements

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Members of the Hamilton County Fair Foundation gathered around the new playset at the fairgrounds. The new addition, located just outside of the Ed Prince Building, was made possible in part by an Enhance Hamilton County Grant. Pictured are, from the left, Mark Ferguson, Amy Erickson-Keller, Brad Burtnett, Krisent Davison at the top of the slide with Kenzie Davison, Deb Peterson and Shayla Troendle. The Hamilton County Fair gets underway next week.

The 2019 Hamilton County Fair is less than a week away and fairgoers this year will likely notice some improvements around the fairgrounds.

The Hamilton County Fair Foundation is the group responsible for the improvements, including a new play equipment next to the Ed Prince Building. An Enhance Hamilton County Grant helped pay for the playset, foundation officials said.

Additionally, the Richard Claude Arena has new fencing around the perimeter of the arena, installed by Griner Fencing, according to foundation officials.

The fair foundation, which is a separate entity from the Hamilton County Fair Board, has been raising money to provide improvements to the fairgrounds since 2000.

“The fair foundation raises funds for improvements, while the fair board runs what takes place –events and activities — during the county fair,” said Erickson-Keller.

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship Fair Foundation board members Shayla Troendle, Amy Erickson-Keller, Mark Ferguson, Brad Burtnett, Kristen Davison and Deb Peterson stand near the new fencing at the Richard Claude arena on the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

“The foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with an all volunteer board,” said Amy Erickson-Keller, board president. “It’s comprised of 16 hard-working and devoted members. These individuals volunteer countless hours of their time and love to see this county fair grow and succeed each year.”

The foundation hosts its annual Sundaes on Sunday in February, featuring hot beef sundaes, to raise funds, as well as breakfasts Thursday, Friday and Saturday of fair week. The breakfasts are $8 and will be held under the big tent from 7 to 9 a.m. The menu includes pancakes, sausage and scrambled eggs.

The foundation will also serve a meal Tuesday night following the fair parade. Smoked pork loin sandwiches, chips and baked beans will be served at a cost of $8.

“All of the funds raised through the meals go to future improvements here at the fairgrounds,” according to Erickson-Keller.

Some of the past projects that the foundation has funded include the shower building, events center, air conditioning in the Van Diest Building and Floral Hall, purchased picnic tables and benches and updated the Pavilion and the plaza in front of show arena, and windows in the horse barn.

“All of the improvements come from the donations we receive,” said board member Deb Peterson.

The Hamilton County Fair runs Tuesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 28.