As of Friday, July 13, 2018
OKANOGAN — With a little bit of luck, the new bathrooms at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds will be ready for use during the 71st annual fair, Sept. 6-9.
That’s what Okanogan County Commissioner Andy Hover told the Okanogan County Fair Advisory Committee during its regular meeting Thursday, July 12.
“Yes, it will be operational by fair,” Hover said.
The new bathrooms – adjacent to the poultry barn – were constructed last year but were not operational during the 2017 fair.
Committee Chairwoman Tracey Reagles said committee members toured the fairgrounds earlier this week, but there was no water in the bathrooms.
“The contractor has to go back and fix some things,” Hover said.
Hover also reported the county should be receiving a new tractor that has been purchased for the fairgrounds.
Committee members discussed about entrances to the fair and possible changes near the main entrance.
“Right now we’re kind of in negotiations for gate people, but we can only have two (pay) gates,” Hover said, adding the south-end gate would be used as an exit only. The main gate and north-end will be paying gates.
Reagles reported the entertainment stage will be moved from its current location at the north end of the midway to a spot between Jones Hall and the Agriplex, with performers facing west.
“Now when they come in that other gate the walk straight in and all they see is RVs, bathrooms,” she said. “It like they’re not entering the fair.”
Committee member Kris Sims echoed Reagles, noting it’s was better “curb appeal.”
Reagals also addressed oncerns over vendors’ contracts.
The fair used to offer two free season passes, and the option to purchase two additional fair passes at half price to vendors.
But representatives from the county treasurer’s office said that could become a state audit nightmare.
The committee wants to offer three free passes to food vendors and two passes to other vendors.
“If we make it harder, they won’t come to our fair,” committee member Wanda McFarland said.
“I think two wristbands included,” Reagles said. “Period. None of this half-price stuff. Two season passes. Period.”
Committee members will meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in the Okanogan County commissioners’ hearing room at 123 S. Fifth Ave.