Fall fair gets thumbs up

Ken McKinnon is still smiling about this year’s fall fair in Emo, saying it was one of the best ever.
McKinnon, president of the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society fair board, said attendance was strong this year, the percentage from the midway was up, and the weather co-operated perfectly.
“I’m very proud of the way things went this year,” he remarked. “Being the weather was so superb, it was easier for organizers. It went off like clockwork.”
Between the farm progress building, 4-H exhibits, the industrial show, and the midway, McKinnon said the fairgrounds were just packed.
“We probably had some of the best entertainment we had ever seen,” he added. “We had a lot of amateur entertainment which I thought the public enjoyed.”
McKinnon said another big seller at the fair this year was the unlimited rides bracelet for the midway. McKinnon said it helped parents put their kids on a much easier “allowance” once the ride portion was taken care of.
As reported in the Times last week, about the only thing that didn’t go as well as organizers would have liked was the attendance for the “Lonestar” and Mark Collie concerts on Friday and Saturday nights.
“I was really disappointed at the low attendance at our feature entertainment,” McKinnon said. “It’s not that often we get professional entertainers.”
McKinnon attributed a good part of the low concert turnouts to the mill strike in Fort Frances.
“The strike has gone on long enough that it’s hit home,” he said, noting people are watching their money closely as it comes time to send the kids back to school.
“If the economic environment had been a bit different, there would have been an affect on attendance,” McKinnon remarked. “It’s just unfortunate they experienced a strike at the time.”
The fair board will be meeting Sept. 5 to go over details of this year’s fair. And McKinnon is expecting fair directors to feel pretty much the same as he is.
“I think we had one of the best fairs ever,” he stressed. “I have nothing but good feelings towards it.”