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Elkhart County Fair gives county big economic boost

The Elkhart County Fair brings more than just fun and games to the fairgrounds it also helps boost the local economy.

The general manager of the fair, Bryan Blair tells ABC57 all the vendors arrive in Elkhart County about three weeks in advance to set up their post and get ready for the week; that means they are consuming and buying locally.

“They’re probably over 200 people on the fairgrounds so when you think about it 200 extra people for about three weeks is a nice little boost,” says Blair.

Blair explains the economic impact the fair has on Elkhart County.

“We get people from all over the place that come in and when they do that they eat in the restaurants, they buy fuel, they buy parts for their RVs they visit the local tourist sites so it’s continuous,” he says.

According to Blair people from 12 to 15 different states come down to the fairgrounds, “This is an amazing place the way that Elkhart County supports, the 4-H is intertwined; this fair is a part of the fabric of Elkhart County.”

For the first time, admission and concert tickets have been on sale since February.

“We’re really excited about the concert tickets and how the sales are going for that and typically we see when people buy concert tickets they buy their admission tickets

According to Blair and other fair board members, last year’s attendance numbers were low.

“When you walked around the fairgrounds you didn’t notice there were less people but the way we counted people changed,” says Blair.

This year the individuals responsible for taking tabs on the number of entries are better prepared.

“So this year with our second year in electronic ticketing we’re going to get a good check,” he said.

All staff has been preparing since July 1st and Blair says there’s a valid reason why Elkhart County’s fair has won awards nationally.

“We’re able to provide the facilities for all the 4-H kids and parents to use for free all year round. Elkhart County has 3,700 kids involved in 4-H this year and there’s almost 1000 adult leaders.”

Admission is $8, free for those who are 10 years old and younger.

Concert tickets are $35, but you can go to the grandstand and stay there for no additional cost.

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