Members of the Redwood County Agricultural Society (county fair board) met with the Redwood County commissioners Sept. 17 to reflect on the 2019 fair and to talk about the future for the event, which is held on the fairgrounds in Redwood Falls.

According to Jeff Potter, fair board president, the fair held this past July was another successful one that included a variety of events, programs and activities for those who attended.

More than 25,000 people walked through the gate this year, said Potter.

Grants received by the fair board allowed for improvements to be made this past year, added Potter, including some new LED lighting, as well as new fans in some of the livestock barns.

One of the new offerings provided during the fair was a sober ride bus that was available Friday and Saturday nights. The sober ride program was made possible by the Lyon/Redwood Toward Zero Death coalition, and Potter said it was such a success the fair board hopes to offer it again next year.

While the rides were limited to Redwood Falls, the program offered through Lars and Mars Transportation could potentially be expanded.

While the successes of 2019 were many, the fair board has moved on and is already making plans for 2020. The fair dates for next year are July 15-19.

There are a number of upgrades that need to be done, said Potter, adding the bathrooms and the exhibit hall need work. The board is currently working to replace all of the wood seating in the grandstand with aluminum.

Kirby Josephson, fair board treasurer, said costs continue to rise for the fair, adding right now the board has $1,000 in the bank. While it still has money coming in, there are bills that will come due.

The board allocated $36,000 to the fair board this past year, and those attending the meeting said any kind of increase the board could offer would be much appreciated.

The local county fair has developed a good reputation, said Bob Van Hee, county commissioner, adding the fair board is a great group of individuals he believes are doing a good job.

The funding request will be considered by the board.