By JASON DUNOVANT
This year’s Agricultural Fair was a success, according to a report presented to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Held at the Franklin County Recreation Park, the four-day fair had a record 8,666 nighttime visitors last month — more than the previous attendance record in 2016.
Michael Burnette, the county’s economic development director, said attendance on the third night of the fair almost exceeded what the county could handle. “We just about maxed out the fair,” he said. “The parking lot was full.”
Burnette attributed the record attendance to good weather — the first rain-free fair since it was restarted six years ago. Multiple nights of the fair had been canceled in previous years due to heavy rain.
More than 1,600 Franklin County Public School students also attended the fair this year to learn about farming. Local farmers taught students about common farm animals and the importance of the agricultural industry.
Competitive entries nearly tied last year’s entries, too, Burnette said. The fair had 402 entries this year, compared to 407 last year.
This year’s fair collected nearly $60,000 in gate fees and ride wristbands, in addition to $15,000 in cash sponsorships from local businesses, Burnette said. There was a 10% reduction in expenses this year as well, he said.
“You all did a great job,” said Snow Creek District representative Leland Mitchell. “I just want to thank you all.”
In other news, supervisors:
n Voted to have a paid staff member at Snow Creek Volunteer Fire Department for 12 hours a day Monday through Friday as the department works to build its volunteer base.
n Adopted a resolution voicing concerns with a new regional fuel tax rate increase of 7 cents per gallon to fund I-81 improvements. Franklin County is one of several counties in the region that is required by a new state law to participate in the fuel tax increase even though the interstate does not pass through the county.
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