Nevada State Fair ends 136-year run

The Board of Directors for the Nevada State Fair met Tuesday night and came to a decision that was difficult to make but was sadly inevitable, Rich Crombie, executive director for the fair, said in a news release.

"For the first time in the history of the fair, since 1874, there will not be a state fair this year, ending a 136-year run that established itself as being the longest running event in Nevada," Crombie said.

After months of efforts to reach out to sponsors, community leaders, government officials, and most recently, the general public, the Nevada State Fair was not able to generate the necessary funding to overcome an enormous debt coupled with the necessary money needed to produce the 2011 fair. To date, only 13 percent of the total amount needed has been raised or pledged, which is far from the goal, he said.

In Carson City, the 14 kids in the 4-H program's livestock club, which falls under the University of Nevada's Carson City/Storey County Cooperative Extension Office, will be affected by the fair's demise, said Sandy Wallin, who oversees the program.

"Several years back, we decided to partner with the state fair because it's easier to get our kids to their culminating event for the year," Wallin said. "We saw this as an opportunity to assist the state fair. We were really excited with what Rich had done with the fair - it looked more like a state fair than a carnival with a couple of animals on the side."

Youngsters also are able to participate in an annual state 4-H Expo, however, which

has been held in places like Douglas County, Winnemucca, even Ely,

she said.

"We'll wait for the state 4-H office to come up with a plan with input from club leaders," Wallin said.

Crombie said he is grateful for all the help that has been generated.

"We want to express our most sincere and humble gratitude to the many volunteers and supporters of the Nevada State Fair who stood by her over the past several years, and especially in the last several weeks," Crombie said.

"The local folks and 4-H kids and leaders who came to Casale's for spaghetti dinners and to Legends for the Nevada Round Up to put their dollar bills in the kitty, and who sent in notes, e-mails and checks over the past month, are to be commended and applauded for their devotion and understanding of the importance of this storied state tradition," he said.

"We recognize the fact that there are many individuals out there who are passionate about the Nevada State Fair, and their dedication and pride as Nevadans shined brightly through all of their efforts to save it," he said.

Those individuals whose donations the committee was able to track - checks, electronic payments, etc. - will be offered their donations back if so desired. All other donations will be put toward rebuilding the fair.

"It is our intention to not file for bankruptcy, but to continue efforts to raise money to satisfy the fair's debts which could perhaps put us in a position to revive the fair at some later date in the future," Crombie said.


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