Elkhart County Fair economic impact

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. – The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is one of the biggest 4-H fairs in the country. Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman says it’s a great opportunity to show visitors what the city of Goshen has to offer. “It’s almost like we invite the entire city of Cincinnati here to see our community,” Stutsman said.

Fair officials say the Elkhart 4-H fair draws over 160,000 people, so there is definitely a significant impact economically to the county and surrounding areas. However, Stutsman and officials say the economic impact is hard to track. That’s because there has never been an official economic impact study for the fair.

Advertising Director of the fair Wayne Kramer says that it’s something the fair wants to research. “In the future, we’re gonna want to have a more specific impact study done so it can be more properly assessed.”

 “A lot of our businesses have shops and set up booths out there. They’re hopeful it creates future business for them,” Stutsman explained.

One Elkhart business has seen the impact of setting up shop at the fair. Chrissie Kriel is the co-owner of Bella’s Boutique in Elkhart. “We have definitely seen an impact. People have come all the way from Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan – because they’ve seen us at the fair,” she said.

Last year was the first year Bella’s Boutique set a booth up at the fair, but since the two owners have seen the fair’s influence on their business, the owners said they doubled their space and increased their merchandise at the fair.

“It’s a great way for the community to come together to bring others to our area,” said Mayor Stutsman.

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