Skip to content

Washington County Fair Board Preparing For 2023 Fair

By Todd Marver

Rhonda Mueller, Washington County Fair Board president, told the Nashville City Council on Thursday, March 2 that the Fair Board is currently planning for the 79th annual fair from July 10-15.

Mueller said the 2022 fair saw great crowds every night. She said there was good attendance on Thursday night for family night and the weather was great.

“We were very pleased with the 2022 fair. We are hoping to continue to grow the fair this year and gain exposure for our great community,” she said.

Mueller said this year they will feature a new carnival on the midway called Exposition Expo. Exposition Expo services the Monroe County Fair in Waterloo and Bond County Fair in Greenville.

“We did go up to Greenville to check out their operation and everything. We feel that it’s going to be a great fit for Washington County. It will feature more rides for the younger youth, ages 1-5. That’s where we were a little lacking. They will have more that will accommodate that,” she said.

Mueller said the carnival that they had last year closed due to retirement.

“They let us know at the close of the 2022 fair that would be their last year. That sent us on a search. We looked at various carnivals. I know the area has had a few issues with that,” she said.

Mueller said this year they are taking a leap and will have a national entertainer to provide a concert for them on Wednesday, July 12.

“We hope this endeavor will not only benefit the fair, but our entire community in many ways like fuel sales, fast food sales, hotel lodging and merchants uptown. We hope that it’s going to benefit everyone,” she said.

Mueller said they are hoping to have 1,200 tickets on the grandstand and 1,400 standing room only tickets on the track for a total of 2,600 tickets.

“It could bring a lot of tourism to town is our hopes,” she said. “We will also have a warm-up act. We’re looking at least $70,000 to put on the concert. We were kind of at a lull on Wednesday night. We tried antique tractor pulls and different things.”

The plans for this year’s fair schedule besides the concert will include crowning the new Miss Washington County on Monday, July 10, ITPA tractor pull on Tuesday, July 11 and pork/steak supper, family night and bingo on Thursday, July 13.

“Quilt bingo will be provided by the Moose Lodge. We’re very excited to have that addition to the fair,” Mueller said.

The county tractor pull will be on Friday, July 14 and the demolition derby will be on Saturday, July 15.

“We’re very excited about the lineup this year. We feel the fair provides a learning and fun atmosphere for exhibitors and participants of all ages,” Mueller said.

Mueller said they are seeking sponsorship donations from local businesses and individuals. She said the city has been very generous in the past.

“Those funds each year are used to have the fair. Your funding helps us tremendously.  I would like to thank you for your past support of the fair. It’s very helpful to us and we hope you will continue to help us by supporting the Washington County Fair with a sponsorship this year and possibly a sponsorship for our new endeavor: the concert,” she said.

Mayor Raymond Kolweier said the city has had a $5,000 sponsorship for the fair in the past.

“My suggestion would be to continue that. They’re going to need some extra help to get this pulled off and get things taken care of, but I don’t know to what extent. We will do something over and above the $5,000 that we did before. We’ll get with you in the next meeting or two,” he said.

The council approved a 2023 concrete quote for the city with Quad County Ready Mix in the amount of $128 for less than two cubic yards and $120 for greater than two cubic yards.

“We only got one quote back,” said councilman Doug Hargan.

The council approved a $250 donation to Nashville High School’s post-prom.  Councilman Kelly Sheridan said they received a letter from the high school requesting a donation for the post-prom.

“This is something we do every year. I think it’s a good thing for the kids,” he said.

The council approved replacing a few meters in the amount of $30,480.

“I think (chief water department operator) Jim Leonard has done a good job of making the other ones last,” said councilman Gary Moeller.

The council approved an $81,378 bid to replace carbon in the water plant, which is used to filter the water.

“It’s quite a process. There are 20 tons of material to take it out of the plant. It’s a joint effort. The quote includes the product. Dump trucks are brought in to haul all the quality old carbon away,” Moeller said.

Utility Supervisor Blaine Middleton said they test their carbon every year and had low numbers in January.

“It’s going to be dead sometime this fall. August is the worst month of taste and odor. We don’t want to go into August with dead filters. That’s why we’re going to get them changed now,” he said.

The council approved changing their natural gas agent to Utility Gas Management (UGM).

“We met with our gas engineer about a month ago and they can save us a fair amount of money. We need to discontinue the service with our credit manager and turn it over to our engineering firm. The working relationship will be a lot better than what we’ve got now. I hardly hear from the credit manager at all. I think it’ll be beneficial to the city (to change to UGM),” Kolweier said.

Middleton said over the last year, they’ve had a lot of billing issues with not getting bills and getting incorrect bills.

“(We’ve had) problems getting everything straightened out. Things were slipping through the cracks. They’re not doing what they should do. UGM already does our billing and they’re for us and we’ve got a working relationship with them. They’ll save us $26,000. I think it’ll be a good thing for us for the future,” he said.

Leave a Comment