I just read the letter about dumping the Wallowa County “bed tax bump.” Very reasonable.
Obviously, the maintenance and operation of the fair grounds should be shouldered by the entire county populous, not preponderantly by the local hospitality industry, which is apparently considered “low hanging fruit” by some of our county commissioners.
Then I read the Wallowa County Fair schedule of events that appears to be heavily weighted toward 4-H and FFA activities, which are a good foundation but not much to rouse or attract the rest of the county who aren’t FFA or livestock enthusiasts.
So, here are a few ideas that have been deployed by various successful county fairs.
• Where’s the entertainment that would attract a broader audience to see the 4-H and FFA exhibits and generate revenues?
• Where’s the fun of the midway carnival, the Ferris wheel, “carni” games and food venders?
As an aside. Chief Joseph Days just hasn’t been nearly as much fun since it lost the carnival.
• And where are the music venues for generating revenues from a different segment of the community and attract tourists from a field that could bolster the county’s economy during an otherwise “lull” in its event calendar?
• And why not throw in the excitement of a demolition derby such as what the fair used to have?
• Why isn’t a rodeo coordinated with the fair?
• And how about a farm equipment expo to show off the latest farm and irrigation equipment and present information about obtaining grant monies to underwrite such modernization?
It seems to me that county fair has an opportunity to make a much greater contribution to the county at large while simultaneously inviting tourism dollars.