By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor
Fair Board President Tim Allison stopped his chores in the dairy and beef barn Friday night to chase me down as I strolled through with camera at the ready.
He said he appreciated the coverage the PNT had given the fair but I think more importantly he wanted to thank us for doing a story on Floyd McAlister following his death a little over a week ago.
His voice cracked a little when he talked briefly about how much Floyd would be missed at the fair.
It seemed like everybody connected with the fair was dealing with a heavy heart for Floyd and his family. But I don’t think anyone dared let him down. It seemed to me like an outstanding fair.
Over the years the fair board and dedicated volunteers like Floyd McAlister have worked miracles in aging facilities because they wanted something nice for the community.
Whether it’s smoothing out the grounds where water doesn’t stand, coming up with solutions to aging electrical boxes that used to blow if a snowcone machine and a crockpot got turned on at the same time, to finding ways to keep the buildings cool enough for animals and humans, a bunch of dedicated folks haven’t stopped working.
Allison said Friday night that he loved the fair but he sure would be glad when it was over. All volunteers get that feeling about that point in their toils but he went right back to work as I wandered off.
Allison and his board have a lot to be proud of this year. It was the 20th anniversary of the Junior Livestock Sale in which a milestone cumulative $2 million sales total was reached. The Ladies Lead was back at the fair after many years absence and the first Special Needs Day was held for students in local schools.
From the stage at the slab Friday, Steve Davis reminded folks they were attending the oldest county fair in the state. Something we should be proud of.
Sure, maybe some of the things about our fair are cornier than the corn dogs on the midway but it’s ours and the people make the difference.
I don’t know what the gate counts were this year but I’m betting we didn’t see a decline from years past. Before the fair, in an interview Allison fretted a little over the rough economic times we’re currently weathering and wondered if attendance might fall.
No matter where the attendance numbers ended up the fair was a success because we got together as a community. That’s more important in my book than anything else.
Karl Terry is managing editor at the Portales News-Tribune. Contact him at 356-4481, ext. 33 or e-mail: