Fair board notes good year, looks for more volunteerstop


By Paul Rhodes

CHENEY – Several new faces attended last week’s meeting of the Sedgwick County Fair Association, and the potential new volunteers and regular members alike heard some good news: The 2021 Sedgwick County Fair was a big success.
“We had a pretty good year,” said Fair Board president Bret Albers. “Our numbers were strong.”
Albers and other officials noted that this year’s Fair, held July 7-10 at the fairgrounds in Cheney, produced the best total revenue for fairs held in the past 10 years. Last year’s Fair was cancelled because of COVID.
While many revenue categories for the Fair remained steady, some were up substantially. Fair Association treasurer Steve Gegan said the Demolition Derby was up $12,000 over 2019’s numbers and the Ranch Rodeo had its best year since the event was started.
Gegan and Albers noted that the Pride of Texas Carnival also had a good year.
“So, subsequently, the Fair did well from the carnival, too,” said Albers.
Food booths also did well. Gegan said all were up, except the church booths. They ran about even with two years ago, he said.
Holley Rohloff, who heads up food booths, said food trucks at the Fair “did amazing.” In another report, 4-H officials noted that they fed a record number of people at the barbeque dinner prior to this year’s Livestock Auction. That event was held Saturday evening.
The only negative news concerned the Farm Bureau Building on the Fairgrounds, which is rented out through the year. Over the last three years, that facility has lost money when comparing rental income with expenses.
However, the facility did make money in 2020, and seems on track to do okay this year, said Albers.
With all of that positive news, Albers is hopeful that more people will get involved with the Sedgwick County Fair as organizers look ahead to next year. Several interested people showed up for last week’s meeting, and Albers was encouraged by the turnout.
Albers stayed after the meeting to visit with the potential new volunteers, and will be working with them to see how they would like to contribute to the Fair Association. Albers also is researching the structure of the Fair Board’s membership in terms of township representation, and how that can be improved in the future.