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By Karla Pomeroy

The News Editorial: Fair week: volunteers make it happen


July 29, 2021

The Washakie County Fair is in full swing which got me to thinking about the time and effort volunteers put into making the fair happen.

Yes, there are individuals who are paid to help with the fair in so far as it is part of the overall job description including Fair office staff during the week, 4-H educator, FFA advisors, Washakie County building maintenance staff, event judges, those who contract for pig wrestling, rodeos and monster truck events.

But when it comes down to it, without the many volunteers, fair week would likely not happen.

A five-member board organizes and operates the fair every year. They volunteer their time for monthly meetings, occasionally twice a month as they work on the budget and the fair and they meet at 7 a.m. every morning the week of fair.

They receive no compensation, no fame or fortune. They do it because they want to support the youth of the community, because they love the community and want to provide a great event.

It’s why other volunteer members serve on their respective boards — library board, hospital board, solid waste district board, Worland Aquatic Center Joint Powers Board, Worland Community Center Complex Joint Powers Board, Worland Senior Center Board just to name a few in this community.

Serving on a volunteer board can be as thankless a job as an elected official, but elected officials receives some sort of paycheck, usually.

I could write a column about each and every board and the work its volunteers do, and perhaps some day I will.

This week, however, is fair week, so let us focus on the fair board and the many volunteers who make this week-long event happen.

So since volunteers do not receive monetary contributions for their efforts, why do they do it? For love and dedication to the people whom they serve.

In a recent interview with the Northern Wyoming News, board members expressed why they serve with comments including “keeping county fairs alive,” “our kids are the future,” “I like to see the kids excited to be out here, I don’t want that to go away.”

Several members have been involved in fair as a youth or have had their own children involved in the fair. One of the newest members, Dani Rice, said, “We do it to better the future.”

The fair, however, is more than just the five-member volunteer board. There is an estimated 50 volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the week to ensure things run smoothly, to provide a quality, fun and educational event every year.

Many of those volunteers are the superintendents and clerks who run their respective shows including but not limited to horses, cats, dogs, fabric and fashion, Scouts, FFA, general 4-H (four judges and clerks were volunteering time Tuesday), swine, goat, sheep, poultry and beef shows, open class general (several judges and clerks involved), open class flowers, round robin and the rhubarb rhevival.

There are also many volunteers assisting behind the scenes to make sure what needs to be done gets done.

If you go to the fair this week, just remember the 2021 Washakie County Fair “Country Fans and Wyoming Brands,” is brought to you by numerous county volunteers whose only compensation may be a friendly hello or thank you from you.

--Karla Pomeroy


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