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Organizers getting a jump-start on Fair

January 24, 2012

The Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair has announced the flavor for this year’s barbecue and pie contests. For pie, residents can pick any berry or combination of berries. For the barbecue contest, the Fair board went with another unique selection, SPAM. File photos

With a fresh blanket of snow in the Owens Valley it may seem to be a little early to begin making plans for the summer, but the folks at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair are doing just that and asking residents to help.
Fair officials have already decided what the major contests at this year’s Fair will be and selected the theme, but it is up to residents to come up with the official slogan for 2012.
“Many people may not realize how many months of planning go into each year’s Fair,” Fairgrounds CEO Jim Tatum said. “We’re trying to get a head start for 2012 by making some decisions earlier this year.”
The Tri-County Fair Board announced last week that flavor for the 2012 pie contest will be berry. “Any berry or combination of berries will be allowed,” a press release states.
Due to the popularity of last year’s unique meatloaf contest, organizers decided on another creative theme for the barbecue contest this year.
“… We wanted to offer another ‘BBQ’ meat that would attract contestants that normally would not compete,” the press release states.
This year, residents are invited to fire up their grills and come up with the best barbecued SPAM recipe in the tri-county area.
But the Tri-County Fair isn’t the Tri-County Fair without some resident participation well in advance of the event.
The Tri-County Fair Board of Directors came up with the theme “Fairs, an American Tradition” and it will be up to citizens to submit their ideas for the Fair slogan.
“If you think you may have the 2012 winning fair slogan, don’t be shy, get your entry into the fair office before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15,” the press release states.
The resident whose slogan is selected this year will win an all-access pass to the Fair.
Residents may enter as many slogans as they can come up with into the contest. Slogans should be short and snappy and keep with the “Fairs, an American Tradition” theme.
The Fair Board of Directors will review the slogan submissions at its Feb. 22 meeting and announce the winner via press release Feb. 23.
In light of state budget cuts, Tatum said last year that the 2012 and 2013 Fair events will be scaled back, as he and his staff are looking at cutting $100,000 in expenditures from both budget years.
Tatum said it is currently unclear exactly what cuts will be made to reduce costs, but there will still be carnival attractions and other events residents love.
One idea that is being tossed around is cutting the Fair short and cancelling the last day of the event (Monday), which is historically the least popular day.
The Tri-County Fair is lucky in that it generates nearly 80 percent of its operating costs through its own revenue. Tatum said last year that residents may not notice much of a change during the 2012 event, but can expect to see some drastic changes in 2013.
For more information about the Fair and slogan contest, call (760) 873-3588.

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