Elkhart County Fair closer to paying off, using new land
Posted: 04/11/2012 at 10:00 pm
By: Justin Leighty
The donation came from the Elkhart County Dairy Advisory Board, according to Dr. Robert Zell, member of the club and leader in the 4-H Dairy Club.
It means the fair’s raised roughly $1 million of the $1.4 million purchase price toward the expanded parcel east of the fairgrounds.
The largest single donation came from the estate of Norval and Jean Poyser, a farming couple who left a portion of their estate, roughly $300,000, to the fair.
The board hopes to pay off the land by the end of this year’s fair, which runs July 20-28.
Some of the roughly 250 acres will be in use at this summer’s fair, according to Jack Lengacher, this year’s fair board president.
“We’ve got some pretty cool plans,” he said.
The main gate will move east a few hundred feet, and what has been parking space will be filled with exhibitors and tents for the many corporate picnics held during the fair.
With more parking space available to the east, more camping space will open up on the west side of the grounds.
The fair board also voted to buy new trams for use inside the grounds, replacing the large ones in use in the past and freeing those for use in the parking lots.
To raise the rest of the money to pay off the land, the fair board is selling $25 tickets to a drawing that will get the winner a VIP night for four at the fair, Lengacher said.
That includes a helicopter ride from the Goshen Airport to the fair, a golf cart ride into the grounds, a meal, ride tickets for children and four good seats to the concert of the winner’s choice. After the concert the winning family will ride back to the helicopter on a golf cart and fly back to the airport, beating the late-night traffic, Lengacher said.
The drawing will take place in early July. “That should be a pretty good time for whatever family gets it,” Lengacher said.
There will be silent auctions at the fair and 4-H clubs are raising money to help pick up the balance of the land costs.
None of the new, statewide 4-H fee will go toward the land, according to 4-H educator Laurie Sula.
The deadline for signing up for 4-H this year is Sunday.