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Monroe Fair Q & A: Armband nights, 4-H Livestock Auction
Questions with with extension director Jeff Holland and Secretary to the Monroe County Fair board David Smith
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us on a rainy Tuesday morning. Extension director Jeff Holland and Secretary to the Monroe County Fair board David Smith are here to talk about the 4-H components of the upcoming Monroe County Fair, so send your questions in now.

Jeff and David, how are you doing today?

JEFF HOLLAND: Doing awesome, thanks. Thanks for having us.

DAVID SMITH: I am glad to be here again this year. Thank you for inviting us.

QUESTION: We have been coming to the the fair for a number of years, what improvements will we see this year as far as the grounds and carnival? Thank the fairboard for all their hard work.

John, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: We are super excited about the new carnival coming this year. I think the public will appreciate what this carnival has to offer. Several buildings have received new roofs and a fresh coat of paint.

QUESTION: Are you having the same people drive the shuttles again this year. Last year We could not find our car and they dove us and helped us look for it so we did not have to walk with the kids to find it. They are awesome

Jack Dean, Stinesville

DAVID SMITH: The same individuals will be returning this year. They do a really good job for us.

QUESTION: How does one get on the fairboard ? Conversely, it appears there are a lot of good people who are on the board, but they are there for "life". Is there some type of voting procedure?

DAVID SMITH: The 40 at-large positions are voted on every October. Anyone interested in being on the Fair Board needs to contact any Board member and let them know you are interested. The other members are appointed by the different special interest groups for a three year term.

QUESTION: Hi Jeff and Dave! Could you explain when the 4-H Livestock Auction is and what it's all about?

Clint, Bloomington

JEFF HOLLAND: The Livestock Auction allows for our 4-H members the opportunity to sell their livestock animals. If you come to the Monroe County Fair on Thursday, July 29th, at 6:00 p.m., you'll have the chance to see quality animals that are raised by quality 4-H members. All animals that go through the livestock auction have been shown/exhibited at this year's fair. Members may also only sell one of the large animals (beef, sheep, swine, dairy steer, goat) and/or one small animal (pigeon, poultry, rabbit). We also have a livestock pre-sale banquet for all prospective buyers at 4:30 that same day. If you're interested in the bidding procedure, I'd invite you to contact the Monroe County Extension Office at (812) 349-2575, where we'll be happy to send you literature and a buyers pass for the night's festivities. The Livestock Auction cannot be a success without the support of local businesses and individuals, and so, we hope that we'll keep our current base of supporters, yet at the same time, increase our visibility and support base.

QUESTION: Why does the Monroe County Fair charge so much for parking? I have heard alot of complaints about having to pay for an armband on armband night just to get in. I grew up in Bloomington and remember when we were not charged to park. What's wrong with a $2.00 fee if they need the money. Many families can't afford to come to the fair and it should be a place where families can come and afford it.

kim, monroe

DAVID SMITH: Needless to say, the Fair strives to bring in the entertainment and events that the public will like. The cost of putting on the Fair is astronomical which the public probably does not realize. The Fair is a not for profit organization so all profits are placed back into the general fund for the next year. We have reduced the number of armband nights to only two nights this year. I wish there were some way to not have to charge anyone for attending the Fair but I do not know how this would ever work.

QUESTION: This will apparently be another year that I do not visit my hometown fair because of your desire to charge me to ride rides when I do not wish to. Any chance this will ever change?

Rudy, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: The only armband nights are Monday and Wednesday. All other nights is $5.00 per car to park.

QUESTION: What is the deadline to purchase the weekly pass? and what is the price this year?

Amanda, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: The deadline is at 4:00 P.M. on Monday, July 26. The cost is $15.00 and the locations for early purchase are in today's paper.

QUESTION: What are the dates for open class entries?

Rynn, Bloomington

JEFF HOLLAND: Open class entries begin on Tuesday of next week (July 20th). For a more concise listing of when projects are to be entered, I would suggest going to the Monroe County Fair website, which is: http://www.monroecountyfairgrounds.org. There you will find up to date information concerning entry times and events.

QUESTION: First, I want to thank you for changing the number of days for the $7 armband nights. There are many in the community that appreciate that change.

How does one become a member of the Fair Board? I was a 4-H member growing up, and I would love to participate on a different level now that I live in Bloomington.

Rachel, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: Please look at my previous answer about the Fair Board membership. Another option would be to get involved once again with the 4-H program. Just contact the extension office to get more details.

QUESTION: How do you charge people who park nearby and walk in? What is the charge?

Hank, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: On armband nights, everyone that enters the grounds will be charged the $7.00. All other nights, they will walk in for free.

QUESTION: I am volunteering at a booth, will I be charged for an armband as well?

Charlie, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: All commercial booth space parking comes in at Gate # 1 which requires a special pass. This gate does not charge for armbands. These special passes are given out to the booth spaces on the first day of the Fair. I would suggest you get with who you are volunteering for to get the pass.

QUESTION: If I choose to attend the fair on an armband night, is it possible to come to the fairgrounds early enough to avoid paying the armband price? I wish to attend the fair on Wed to watch the beef shows and I do not wish to pay the armband fee to watch a free event.

Jennifer, Bloomington

DAVID SMITH: You would have to be on the grounds prior to 12:00 NOON which is when the armbands start.

QUESTION: Hi Jeff. For many it is not clear the difference between 4-H and the Fair. Could you explain the difference please?

Brady, Bloomington

JEFF HOLLAND: Hi Brady, and thanks for your question. The 4-H program is part of the Monroe County Fair, and is the educational component of fair, as our 4-H members all come together at this thing we call a "fair" to show what they've learned through their participation in the 4-H program. The 4-H program has their own rules and regulations, and these rules are, in part, directed by Purdue University and/or the Indiana State Fair. The Monroe County 4-H Board of Directors, which is our local Board, also has input in making rules/regulations for our county program. Conversely, the Monroe County Fairboard, which is a not-for-profit organization, has the fiscal responsibility of the Monroe County Fair. The Fairboard supplies monies for all judges, premiums, and ribbons, as well as overall responsibilities for all entertainment, carnivals (rides), scheduling and events that take place at the Monroe County Fair. The 4-H program and Fairboard work hand-in-hand to provide a top-notch county fair that we think that the Monroe County community can take pride in.

MODERATOR: That's all the time we have for the Q&A today. Thanks everyone for your participation. And find more county fair news from around the area at www.indianafairs.com.

Jeff and David, thanks as always. Is there anything more you'd like to add?

JEFF HOLLAND: Well, I'd like to add that the Monroe County 4-H program is alive and well, and our enrollment this year is around 970. For anyone who is interested in participating in the Monroe County 4-H program, I'd invite them to contact the Monroe County Extension Office at (812) 349-2575. 4-H is open to any young person who is in kindergarten (starting in the fall) and goes up until their senior year of high school. We'll be starting enrollments right after the Monroe County Fair. Thanks for having me here. Like always, it's a pleasure.

DAVID SMITH: I hope we have been able to answer many of your questions. We strive to put on a Fair that everyone will enjoy. We encourage everyone to come out and have a great time at this year's Fair. Thank you for inviting me in again this year.