By Rob Scott
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Visitors of the Jackson County Fair enjoyed blue skys and sunshine on the final day. Jackson County Fair officials are forecasting an increase in visitors from last year.
“I’m thinking we were three to four percent up. Some where in that vacinity. Hopefully a little more than that, I have a tendency of being conservative on these things until every thing is in,” said Jackson County Expo manager, Dave Kollermeier.
While the fair’s entertainment may have been booming, vendors say this was not their year. Maria Vaughn’s hand-made french fries sold two palletts of potatoes at last year’s Jackson County Fair. She says this year was a different story.
“This year we struggled to get through one pallett, so it’s a big, big drop” said Vaughn.
Vaughn thinks lack of food variety among the vendors played a big role, as well as high prices to get in the gates.
“Ticket sales are really way high for folks. This is a recession and you can’t go up on price on things if you expect people to buy,” said Vaughn.
Local vendors say they struggled as well, and pointed to the layout of the fair as their major problem.
“It’s not fair at all. Behind us, you’ll notice the rides have gated off all of the locals from coming to see any of these vendors” says Vice President of 2Cor Entertainment, Kelly Caldwell.
Koellermeier says the layout was designed with safety in mind and also helps with garbage managment and alcohol regulation.
“This should be a marketing and advertising showcase for people of the region, so we have more to work on in that regard” said Kollermeier.