By Alex Haglund
The Washington County Fair, scheduled for July 7-11, is nearly upon us. Unfortunately, the state of Illinois’ budget gridlock is going to effect the funding for the fair and the fair board has made a tough decision to cut livestock events from this year’s event.
“There will not be dairy cows, beef cows, sheep or goats, they will not be judging or payouts, no grand champions” said Washington County Fair Board President Dan Heggemeier. “There will not be any animals even on the grounds, for the fair.”
Heggemeier was quick to clarify that these cuts were only for the fair itself and that the events for kids through 4-H would still be happening.
“They will still have their stuff there,” said Heggemeier.
“The fair will still have the grandstand as normal, the tractor pulls, all that will be there, the food stands, we’ll be open every night,” he stated.
For the exhibition hall, horticulture will still be displayed, as will kids’ projects and school projects and agricultural displays.
“Our thinking was, we wanted to gear towards the youth, and towards things that are new,” Heggemeier said.
Heggemeier stated that this decision was made after the fair had received a letter from the state saying that they would not be sending any money at all.
“We would lose thpusands of dollars on the livestock,” Heggemeier said. “are we wealthy, no. But we are financially sound. Holding the livestock events would jeopardize what we could keep doing in the future. Our goal is to keep going, year after year.”
“We’re having the same tractor pulls, the same carnivals, we’re still giving away the bikes,” Heggemeier said. “We appreciate people coming out and we want to make sure that there is always a fair.”