The Friends of the Fair is one group that truly walks its talk. This group of dedicated folks works behind the scenes nearly all year long to bring a little extra pizzazz and fun to the fair.
“We try to make the fair better every year,” said Judith Regehr, “fearless leader” of the Friends of the Fair. “The Boundary County Fair is one of the last free county fairs in the state of Idaho. We work very, very hard to be able to have no admission fee to the fair, the contests, the competitions or the exhibits. It’s a place you can come and feel that your children are safe. There are tons of donations in both time and material. The volunteerism is amazing at the fair.”
According to Judith, each year the Friends of the Fair choose a theme that can encompass and augment the many activities and contests that abound over the four-day event. This year’s theme, “Where We Gather,” is intended to not only invite community members to gather at the fair, but allows the Friends of the Fair to center decorations and contests around the theme of squirrels and the nuts they gather.
One of the most fun aspects of the fair are the contests that are ongoing throughout the four days. These contests are for the most part organized by the Friends of the Fair, a group of 12 volunteers who work many hours to see that the events are fun and fair for all involved.
Marva Mendenhall and Judith will be organizing and running the General Store, a cross between an antique shop and a thrift store, which sells donated items. Located in the Main Exhibit Hall, all proceeds from the General Store will go toward improvements at the fairgrounds. Irene Rice has been busy organizing the plant sales that will take place at the General Store as well.
Bev Hokinson will organize the “Let’s Talk” Demonstration Program. Information and demonstrations will be shared on a variety of topics of interest to everyone. A schedule of speakers, times and topics will be posted outside both the Wildlife Building and the General Store.
Aby Maas is busy organizing the “No Place We’d Rather Gather” coloring contest. Artists of any age are invited to color the picture on page 34 of the fair book and submit their renditions to the fair office by Wednesday, August 19 by 3pm. Aby also painted a picture board and has helped with other artwork around the fair.
Gayle Alexander and Bev Hokinson are organizing the Nutty Pecan Pie baking contest. Cooks may bake their favorite pecan pie and vie against other cooks to see who the “pie baker extraordinaire” is this year. The Nutty Squirrel Bakery will be located on the lawn between the office and Memorial Hall. Bring entries to the bakery on August 20 between 4pm and 5:30pm. Pies should be in disposable containers. The recipe, contestant’s name and phone number should accompany the pie. Judging will begin at 6pm.
Jennifer Watts and Christine McNair organize the Fairest of the Fair, an event that honors the special women of Boundary County. The nominees, the nominator and the selection panel will enjoy a brunch on August 16. The Fairest of the Fair will be crowned during the opening ceremonies. She will also ride in the parade accompanied by the Queen’s Court.
Christine McNair will be organizing the Three Alarm Pie Eating contest featuring two volunteer firefighters from each of the area stations. The contest will be held Thursday, August 20 at 5:30pm on the Memorial Hall lawn. Come support and cheer on your favorite firefighters at this quick paced event.
Pat Dinning and Dianne Oxford have been organizing the “Solve the Nut Case” scavenger hunt, which will begin on August 20 at 9:30am and will conclude August 22 at 6pm. Pick up a clue sheet in the General Store. Look for clues and solve the mystery as you tour the different areas of the fair. Return your completed clue sheet to the General Store by 6pm on Saturday to be entered in a “Bunch of Nuts” drawing.
Evelyn Smith is organizing “Be Nuts about the Fair,” the raffle project for fair entrants who make one or more exhibits in any department located in the Exhibit Hall.
Shirley Anderson is creating and sponsoring the Shining Light Award. This is a traveling trophy competition open to all department supervisors to encourage them to decorate their designated areas. The trophy will be presented at opening ceremonies to give recognition to the person who decorates his or her area in the spirit of the fair.
Marva and Judith put together the Queens’ Court float, which will ride through the fair parade with former Fairest of the Fair winners. Marva and Judith will be assisted by all the other ladies of the Friends of the Fair group.
The Monster Cookie Contest is open to children ages 12 and under who would like to bake one giant cookie and decorate it. Enter cookies from 9:30am to noon on August 21 at the fair office.
The Small Pet Animal Show is open to animal lovers 18 years of age and younger who would like to bring their small pet and enter in the show. This will take place on August 22 at 10am on the Memorial Hall lawn.
For everyone who loves watermelon, there will be a watermelon eating contest August 22 at 4pm on the Memorial Hall lawn. First one finished using no hands will be declared the winner.
How far can you spit a pumpkin seed? If this question is burning in your mind, enter the Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest, which will be held August 22 at 3pm on the Memorial Hall lawn.
Finally, the Giant Tomato Contest is for those gardeners who believe they have grown the largest tomato in the county. Entries will be judged on overall weight. Sponsored by Panhandle Nursery, this competition will take place on August 22 at 5pm on the Memorial Hall lawn.
Judith emphasized, “I’m passionate about the fair because I feel like it’s a community event that brings people together. Our lives are so busy and hectic that we don’t take time to just sit and visit like we used to, but the fair gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with our friends. The best appreciation anyone can show is their support, by their participation. We always need and want people to participate in the fun contests and competitions at the fair.”
August 21, 2009
Thank you so much for this article! Irene Rice is my mom, and she keeps me informed about all the events at the fair. I feel as though I'm there; I wish that I WERE!