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North Dakota State Fair annual meeting concludes in Minot

Annual meeting held in Minot

A trio of directors whose terms on the North Dakota State Fair board had expired were re-elected during the State Fair annual meeting Wednesday in Minot.

Returning to the Fair Board from District 3 is Craig Zimprich, Wahpeton, representing the Southeast Region of the state. Kandi Mikkelson, Minot, was re-elected from District 6, the Minot Region. Lee Ann Karsky, Dickinson, representing the Southwest Region of the state, was re-elected in District 9.

Forty-eight delegates and 52 guests attended the annual meeting in the FFA Hall at the All Seasons Arena. 4H Division Coordinator Dean Aakre, Fargo, told meeting attendees that there were 9,673 4H exhibits at the 2019 State Fair.

“It wasn’t a record year but we’re very pleased with what happened,” said Aakre.

In addition to the 4H exhibits there were 22,809 FFA entries, with horticulture leading the way with 14,854 displays.

Renae Korslien, State Fair and All Seasons Arena manager, addressed the group, saying, “293,000 people walked through those gates of the North Dakota State Fair. That’s a lot of people.”

Official 2019 attendance was 293,145, down from 318,248 the previous year and the least since 2008 when 239,449 people passed though turnstiles at the fair.

Noting that the fairgrounds hosted the Family Motor Coach Association convention just 10 days after the end of the 2019 fair, Korslien thanked her staff for the quick turn-around.

“It’s about the whole year, not just the fair,” remarked Korslien.

The gathering cast a unanimous voice vote to approve dates for the 2020 State Fair which will be held July 17-25.

Among the many items contained in the fair’s annual report was grandstand expenses and receipts. It showed that grandstand expenses for 2019, including the cost of headline entertainment such as country music singer Tim McGraw and the country band Rascal Flatts, was $2,318,707. Grandstand income was placed at $1,998,735.

State Fair President Gary Knell, Hazen, opened the meeting up for questions and answers but got no response from the group. Knell then provided an update on the portion of the fairgrounds that previously held buildings and displays of the Ward County Historical Society. Those buildings were moved to a Burlington location earlier this year following a lengthy legal contest.

“At this point we’re still working a master plan as to how to best utilize that area,” said Knell. “It needs to be leveled out.”

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