WHAT A RIDE: The Saunders County Amusement Association came through again with a carnival for both the Wahoo Saddle Club Rodeo and the Saunders County Fair. These happy youth ride the scrambler during the county fair. 

WAHOO – The Saunders County Fair wrapped up another eight day run on Sunday, and officials are giving the entire event high praise.

Good weather, good crowds and good participation were on the report card again for the county fair.

Saunders County Agricultural Society Board Member Kurt Ohnoutka said attendance for all of the fair’s motor sports were similar to or above previous years.

The demo derby, which was switched from the last Sunday to the first Sunday of the fair this year, boasted a crowd that was probably a record number, he said.

The change in the demo derby allowed for other changes too. The entry release, 4-H barbecue and 4-H livestock auction all moved to earlier times Sunday.

Saunders County Agricultural Society Board Member Dave Chvatal said there were a lot of positives heard about this change.

“We only heard good comments,” he said.

By the end of the week, people are ready to pack up and move back home and the earlier time for the final activities made that happen sooner.

Ohnoutka agreed.

Overall, he said all of the events seemed to go very well. He credited the many volunteers from the numerous organizations for making the fair a success every year.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” he said.

Having dedicated people involved in the county fair was very apparent to Extension Educator Cole Meador.

Meador just assumed his duties with 4-H in Saunders County earlier this year and this was his first Saunders County Fair.

He said it was different than other county fairs he has been involved with in the past and he enjoyed learning the history and culture of the fair in Saunders County.

“There is much more of the community involved here. You can tell everybody knows each other and works together,” he said. “It was wonderful and I look forward to many more.”

One of Meador’s observations included the dedication of the many volunteers at the fair, including the fair board.

“From my perspective, the Ag Society is second to none,” he said. “Super dedicated people. I call them workhorses. Every time you needed something, they were there.”

Meador said prior to the fair he didn’t want to make any big changes until he saw how all the moving parts operated together.

Now after the fair, he isn’t going to recommend any major changes. But, he said he did take some notes and will probably recommend some tweaks for future fairs to help shows run even smoother.

Overall numbers for 4-H were good at this year’s fair too.

As expected, sheep and goat entries were up. Entries in the pig barn and 4-H building were down this year.

“Beef looked about steady,” Meador added.

Chvatal reported the new show ring in the Hattan Pavilion received good marks as well. The new ring allowed for better flow and movement of exhibitors and their entries.

Another advantage, he said, was that it could be used to show multiple species so multiple set ups didn’t have to take place during the fair.

Now that this year’s fair is over, the Ag Society will take a final assessment and start planning for the next one.

Ohnoutka said over the last 15 years, the board has made several facility improvements.

One of the remaining buildings that requires updating is the poultry and rabbit barn. Now that the fair is over, he said the board evaluate what costs would be associated with a potential project there.

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