Humboldt County Fair recognizes sponsors and supporters

The event brings in $7.5 million annually to the local community

Humboldt County Fair manager Richard Conway and fair board of directors President Mandy Marquez told sponsors recently that the fair would not be as successful without their support. (Mary Bullwinkel — for The Times-Standard)

Sponsors and supporters of the Humboldt County Fair were treated to dinner and given certificates of appreciation at a gathering held last week in Eureka.

“Without this support, we wouldn’t be able to provide the quality entertainment and customer experience that we do,” said fair manager Richard Conway. “I’d like to personally thank sponsors and guests for your support.”

Humboldt County Fair Board President Mandy Marquez addressed the gathering, mentioning the improvements made to the fairgrounds — including a complete water system upgrade for the entire fairgrounds, removal of floor tiles and staining of the concrete in Belotti Hall, an upgraded transformer for the grounds to provide the ability to host the chiller for the Humboldt Ice Rink, and numerous updates to meet ADA requirements. All total, $525,000 worth of work has been done, paid for by grants and money in the Humboldt County Fair Association budget.

The Humboldt Ice Rink will return next year to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Marquez said there were 9,000 skaters who used the ice rink this year, as well as 4,000 students.

A new website has been developed and launched so fairgoers can now purchase tickets for the fair online, and as of May 1st, there will be online registration for fair entries.

A couple of new concepts are being explored for this year’s fair, including a kid zone, and a focus on local creative talent.

“We want to showcase local artists,” Marquez said, “(because) we have an amazing local art community. We are honored to provide all these things for the community and we hope you are all proud to be sponsors.”

A new program for this year’s fair, announced at the dinner and very well received, is the Humboldt County Fair Horse Owners group. Guest speaker and track announcer Chris Griffin talked about the new idea at the dinner.

“This thing is about community,” he said, “and your contribution helps the fair give back to the community.”

Sixty-five people at the dinner took advantage of a $100 one-time buy-in opportunity to become part of the group. The money raised by the membership buy-in will be used to purchase a race horse which will be run at the fair horse races this year. Any winnings/profit generated by this horse will be given back to the fair.

“Bottom line,” Griffin said, “we are going to have a fabulous fair.”

The 2019 Humboldt County Fair will run Aug. 15 to 25, but will be closed on Aug.19. The theme this year is, “1,2,3, the Place to Be.”

“This is the community’s fair and we are fortunate to live in the generous community that we do. Most of the other small fairs do not get the same level of support that we do in Humboldt,” Conway said, noting that the fair brings in over $7.5 million annually.

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