Good news from Clallam County Fair report

High attendance, high revenue and high marks from the state fair commissioner.

The 2022 Clallam County Fair, on Aug. 18-21, was a great success, said Don Crawford, director of the Clallam County Fairgrounds, Parks, Fair & Facilities Department in his report to the Clallam County Commissioners at their Sept. 19 work session.

Crawford said that this year’s fair had the second-highest all-time attendance (31,509) and established a record in carnival proceeds ($79,012).

Gate receipts were 18 percent higher than anticipated and revenue from food vendors was 29 percent higher than in 2019, the last year the fair was held due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Revenue from food vendors, fees from ATM transactions and carnival wristbands continue to be collected.

Although the fair experienced many of the same challenges as county fairs across the state, such as fewer livestock and an outbreak of avian flu that prevented poultry exhibitions, Crawford said that feedback from state fair commissioner Ron Crawford (no relation), who conducted an evaluation of the fair, was overwhelmingly positive.

“He said, “This is the best fair I’ve been to this year,” Crawford said. “He said the biggest problem he had with our fair was that every one of the exhibition barns did such a great job for compensating for lower animals through programs and educational initiatives that he struggled to figure out which barn was going to receive the black and white ribbon (the Fairs Commissioner’s Award), which went to the beef barn.”

Crawford said despite concerns that the limited number of animals in the Pacific Northwest Junior Livestock Auction would negatively impact premiums, organizers were thrilled with the results.

“It broke all records,” Crawford said. “Because of that, we’re anticipating having very full barns next year.”

Clallam County 4H coordinator Melanie Greer spoke to the commissioners about the many non-livestock 4H programs, the benefits of participation and ideas for improving enrollment numbers.

District 1 Commissioner Mark Ozias asked Greer to consider two ideas for growing 4H in Clallam County.

“Are there investments in the 4H program either one-time or longer term to double-down on the success that you would like us to consider?” Ozias said.

He also suggested Greer and Clallam County Health and Human Services Director Kevin LoPiccolo discuss a possible collaboration.

“There’s a pretty large overlap between many of the foundations of public health and a lot of the programmatic aims of 4H,” Ozias said.

“There may be ways to leverage or bring in additional resources for 4H programming through the additional funding that’s going through channels for public health.”

Next year’s Clallam County Fair will be Aug. 17-20 and planning has already begun, Crawford said.

2022 Clallam County Fair, by the numbers

• Attendance (gate count): 31,509. Second only to 2006, which had 400-500 more.

• Gate receipts: $163,614 (budgeted revenue $136,000)

• Carnival proceeds: $79,012. An all-time record. (budgeted revenue $53,000)

• Food vendors (concessionaire revenue): $36,953 (2019 revenue $27,459)