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Carnival & Fair News
Carnival & Fair News
A Few Changes At Yuma County Fair
Beer Garden & Popular Cinnamon Rolls Get An Upgrade
Monday, April 30, 2018
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For 66 years, the Yuma County Fair has invited visitors to come together to celebrate the community's roots. It takes a lot of people to put on the fair – around 350 volunteers help out with the yearly event. The 2018 Yuma County Fair took place from April 3 through April 8.
This year's theme was “Yuma's Pride, County Wide.”

Fair Attendance Up & Buddy Day Helps With the Increase

For 2018, admission cost was $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 through 12. Children under the age of 5 were admitted free. There was also a discount day where visitors enjoyed an entry fee of $2.
New for this year, a buddy day was featured on Thursday, April 5, where two people could take advantage of riding the midway rides for the price of one. Yuma County Fair General Manager Eric Wofford says there was a 53 percent increase in attendance that day due in part to the special offer. He adds that overall, fair attendance was up 3 percent from last year.

Midway Rides and Food

Yuma County Fair boasts 35 midway rides provided by Danny Brown's Brown's Amusements and gross revenue from ride ticket sales was up by one percent compared to 2017. The fair also features 24 independent food vendors as well as seven nonprofit food booths. Though there are many delicious treats, a tried and true fair favorite is Old West Cinnamon Rolls, one of the longest running food vendors at the fair. In an exciting twist this season, it was suggested that the vendor open up a second outside location since the original inside location often faces long lines and struggles to keep up with demand. Adding on the second location proved to be a wise decision.

New Beer Garden Rule

The rules were bent a bit for 2018 when it came to the fair's popular beer garden. Wofford says the garden rules were changed to permit guests to venture out of the confines of the garden after 6:30 p.m. This enabled visitors to freely walk around the grounds with drink in hand and enjoy all the fair had to offer without being confined to one area. Of course, people were required to wear purchased wristbands and were also expected to act in a responsible manner.
“It was a big success,” Wofford says.


The entertainment lineup was also a bit different for 2018. In particular, the way tribute bands were featured changed.
“We had great entertainment,” says Wofford. “We tried a new concert structure by having tribute bands run all week and Runaway June as our headliner.”
The tribute bands performed in single, longer concert-style formats, which were also said to be a success. The bands included Bee Gees Gold, Jackson Michelson, Mike Furlongs Tribute to Tom Petty, Doo Wah Riders, Upper Room and Metalachi.
Fair-goers were also entertained by the usual attractions such as the demolition derby, art and photography talent displays, the fair auction, Lanky the Clown, a Robocars Firetruck, the Crazy Contest from Freddie Prez, strolling balloon acts, several magicians and the Freckles Petting Zoo & Pony Rides, to name a few.

For little ones, there was a Tiny Tots Carnival Area as well as an Imagination Gallery interactive children's area. A few new attractions this year included the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and the Louie Foxx One-Man-Side-Show – a magic show combined with comedic aspects.

In the theater building, visitors had the opportunity to explore the Mind Works! attraction that invited people to try out their skill at puzzles and brain teasers. For younger fair explorers, there were also activities such as a construction zone and bubble area.

Additionally, artist and food sculptor Chef Ray taught and enchanted passesrby with his culinary lessons and creations.


The Yuma County Fair's advertising budget for 2018 was said to be around $100,000. The budget is divided between radio, TV and newspaper advertisements. Social media advertising is ldone in-house.

Livestock and Agriculture

The 4-H and FFA Gymkhana and Horse Show took place on Tuesday and Friday. Livestock shows included swine, lamb, Cavy, poultry, goats, beef and horse judging. There were also dog obedience demonstrations and the usual crops and horticulture judging. Wofford says that improvements were made in the barns and livestock and exhibitors were also up in numbers this year.

Fair Scholarships

According to the Yuma County Fair website, promoting local youth has been a major objective of the fair since it first opened. The fair board believes that the youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow and that young people need to have opportunities to continue their education. Because of this, there are a number of scholarships offered during the annual event. This year, $20,000 in scholarship funds were available to area youth.

What Sets Yuma County Fair Apart

Yuma County Fair continues to stand out, Wofford believes, because of all the people that are involved behind the scenes helping to make it what it is today.

“All of their hard work and dedication shows just how special and successful the fair is,” he says. “This year's fair was a great success and we are already planning for next year.”

Some of this planning revolves around where things are going to be headed with the rise of technology. When it comes to the future, Wofford say he believes that fairs are at the forefront of evolution.

“I see [Yuma County Fair] constantly evolving,” he shares. “One area for us will be moving further into the digital era.”
He says this for good reason, as there are already many Yuma County Fair customers who choose, for example, to purchase pre-sale ride tickets on social media outlets. Research shows that many state and county fairs are also developing mobile apps to provide a better overall experience for fair visitors. These apps contain information such as catalogs of vendors and food stalls, fair navigation, fair information and showcased rides, making it easy for attendees to quickly access information in one convenient place.

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