Fair board still seeking a carnival

Right now, the Lyon County Fair does not have a carnival signed up for this year — but the fair board is still trying to contract for one. “We had no clue we were not going to have a carnival. They blamed it on one less weekend in August,” said Wally Wichman, about the previous carnival company.

“We are still trying to get a carnival into our fair and I’m confident we’ll get one.”

He indicated he has a potential carnival candidate for this year. Board Chairman Gary Crowley told Wichman people want and expect a carnival and not having a carnival will hurt attendance the following year.

According to Wichman, of the Lyon County Fair Board, said, “We’re pretty much copying what we did last year.”

The balance from the 2018 fair was $18,072.07.

“The rodeo is a great event and we have a lot of fun putting it on,” said Wichman.

This year’s budget is $170,048. “People look forward to our rodeo. Last year, after the rodeo you could hardly get around the fairgrounds,” said Wichman.

“We’re going to go ahead with our billboards and the event will run Wednesday through Saturday.” The fair board spends $11,241 for advertising and promotion; $5,662 for 4-H judges and the open class judges; $32,775 for non-carnival entertainment; $13,500 for the rodeo expense plus $47,300 for rodeo prize money.

Demo Derby expenses are $10,147. They pay $4,000 in 4-H premiums. The budget reflects about the same profit as last year.

“I get a lot of good feedback (about the fair),” said Commissioner Steve Ritter.

“It sounds like Saturday morning we’re going to have pancakes at the fairgrounds, some ladies want to bring Bingo back and we’re having lots of entertainment,” said Wichman.

Commissioner Rick Anderson suggested the board look at creating more parking space, which is especially needed for the two rodeo performances.

The county provides $40,000 toward the fair board budget and Commissioner Charlie Sanow made the motion to provide that amount again this year.

More campsites approved at county’s Twin Lakes Park

The Lyon County Board Tuesday continued to improve the Twin Lakes Park near Florence by granting a conditional use permit to the county parks department to establish a second campground with shower/bathroom facilities, picnic shelter and other amenities.

The park is located in Shelburne Township. The land being used is currently zoned agricultural.

The plan calls for more room for off-street parking.

The county currently has a $340,000 Legacy Grant that could be lost if they delay development of the park. “I have no qualms about (the park development) and I would personally like to applaud all the folks who made the campground possible,” wrote resident Jeff Bakker.

He added, “It’s a beautiful campground, spacious, laid out well and I know the people who use it really enjoy it,” said Bakker. However, he added there is “high water” currently at the site and Bakker asked the board to, “Hold back on developing more campgrounds until the high water situation is taken care of. We need to be better stewards of our lakes,” he said.

There were also questions about severe erosions and travel along the road daily when the camp is filled to capacity. There were other residents supporting Bakker’s stand. There were questions about the widening of the road and not enough shoulders on the roadway.

John Biren, Lyon County Planning and Zoning Director, has a plan to establish a drain in the east lake. Bakker urged efforts to fund the drain projects before adding to the campgrounds.

Bakker also felt the “need” for the facility will go down because of the inability to use the boat launch on east lake due to the high water conditions. “When the lake is down to manageable levels, I’m sure the park will be more active,” he said.

A note from Carmen and Amy Christensen urged, “Please fix the lake before adding any more building infrastructure for the park.”

The county board indicated they will be responsive to the concerns of the residents but want to maintain the Legacy Grant for the development of the campground.

The board also approved a firearm hunting of wild turkey at Garvin Park during the DNR season from April 17 to April 30 and archery from May 1 to May 30. The park will be closed a half hour before sunrise until noon on each day during the season.

Wally Wichman

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