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IC Fair moves date back to mid-August

IRON RIVER—After one summer of holding the Iron County Fair during the last weekend of August, the annual event will move back to its traditional mid-August calendar slot.
    Specifically, the 124th edition of the fair will be held Aug. 13-16 this summer.
    Iron County Fair Manager Carrie Nelson said the dates were changed last year because that was when Spectrum Carnival was available. This year, the fair has entered an agreement with a new company, Earl’s Rides of Weyauwega, Wis., and dates have been changed back.
    “Spectrum told us they weren’t available at all in August this year,” Nelson said. “So I contacted two other carnivals and they both strongly suggested I contact Earl’s Rides. They come well-supported by the other carnivals.”
    The contract is for one year, but if the fair board is satisfied, the agreement can be stretched to a 3-to-5 year contract, Nelson said.
    The contract calls for 10 to 14 rides, including a tilt-a-whirl, which was missing from the carnival last summer.
    “We wanted to make sure we had the tilt-a-whirl,” said Nelson, who has been fair manager for about 18 months. “That was a big request. We also wanted to make sure there were more rides for teenagers. And then again, we want to have a good mix for the little kids, too.”
    Nelson is also seeking input from the community.
    “We’re always looking for new ideas, for activities that people would like to see at our fair. We’re ready to start changing some things up. We want to maybe look at different things in the rotunda that people would like to see and we’re looking for things down in the grandstands that people would like to see.”
    Those who wish may send their ideas to Nelson at nelscj15@baycollege.edu. Nelson said that while the fair is also looking for new volunteers, people can send their ideas regardless.
    The fair board meets monthly. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the West Iron Fire Hall.
    The annual summer event has been a big part of Nelson’s summer since childhood, and she said the aim is to both add fresh ideas and keep the traditionally popular ones.
    “It’s a balancing act,” Nelson said. “We are doing some transitioning, but we are trying to keep as many people happy with the fair as we can and to keep people’s interest.”
    For more information on Earl’s Rides and to see which rides the company offers, consult www.earlsrides.com.