Fair makes tourism fund request
The start of the 2016 Union County Fair is less than a month away.
The fair is scheduled to run from Friday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Anna City Park in Anna.
The city park is the home of the fair. Last week, the Anna City Council approved a new, 20-year lease with the fair regarding the use of the park.
The fair, and funding for its operation, were on the agenda at last week's regular meeting of the Union County Board of Commissioners.
The meeting was Friday morning at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
Union County Fair board president Mike Yates attended the commissioners meeting.
Yates presented a request for funding to the county board. Each year, for a number of years, the fair has received county hotel/motel tax funds to help with the operation of the fair.
However, the commissioners have established a new committee which reviews requests for the hotel/motel tax revenues, which also are referred to as tourism funds.
The committee will review funding requests and then make recommendations to the county board regarding allocation of the money.
The committe is scheduled to meet on Aug. 11 at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna. County officials asked that the fair board president consider attending the committee meeting to make the request for funds to help with operation of the fair.
Yates did voice his appreciation for all of the support that county officials have given to the fair over the years.
Yates also painted a bleak picture of the State of Illinois' financial support for the fair.
Last year, in terms of state funding, "we received nothing," the fair board president told the commissioners, who added, "and we're not going to."
"It's getting hard to hold a fair," Yates added.
He noted that harness racing, which has been a part of the fair for many years, likely won't be on the 2016 schedule because of the financial situation.
This year's county fair schedule of activities is slated to begin on Friday, Aug. 19, with open show registration from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The carnival opens at 5 p.m. A ranch rodeo is set for 7 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
Other highlights on the 2016 fair schedule include:
Saturday, Aug. 20: Children's Day. Gaited and western horse show at 6 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 21: Community worship service, 5 p.m. Union County Fair queen pageant, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 22: Steve Hornbeak and the Main Street Players, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 23: Antique tractor pull, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 24: Tractor pull, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 25: Children's Day. Veteran's Day. Championship rodeo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 26: Demolition derby, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27: Demolition derby, 7 p.m.
A complete schedule of activities can be found on the fair's website at www.unioncountyfair.net.