Cedar County Fair Bd. signs Nebraska-based company
HARTINGTON — This year’s Cedar County Fair is not only expected to return to normal with a full slate of musical and family entertainment, but the fair will also feature something that’s been missing the past few years — a top quality midway and carnival.
Cedar County Ag Society President Greg Heine said the Fair Board has signed River City Carnival of St. Paul, Neb., to operate its carnival at the Cedar County Fairgrounds this year.
Some area residents may already be familiar with the third-generation Nebraska company, as they have operated the carnival at the Wayne County Fair for the past several years.
River City Carnivals will bring 10-13 rides to town and operate them on Thursday through Sunday of Fair Week.
Heine said the carnival includes, “a really nice lit up ferris wheel, and rides for younger kids and older kids. They’ll also have a good assortment of game and food stands,”
Heine said he’s very happy they could come to an agreement with the carnival.
“We’re glad to get them, they are a class operation. I think people will like them,” he said.
Heine said the search to find a quality carnival that is able to make its schedule mesh with that of the Cedar County Fair has been very difficult.
“It’s been a real challenge. I’ve been talking to about 70 different carnivals from 12 different states. We are very excited to have them. We think they will be a very good carnival,” he said. “Finally, we found the perfect fit.”
Finding a new carnival was also made more difficult by the fact that many of the small carnivals are going out of business, Heine said.
“I’d say 30 carnivals from the midwest alone have gone out of business in the past five years,” he said. “When a carnival goes out of business, that means more fairs and events are scrambling to replace them.”
Heine said the company has been in business for 75 years and mostly toured the south in the past. It’s a very clean, competent operation, he said.
“They have a better management team than a lot of carnivals and they keep their equipment much nicer and cleaner than a lot of them,” he said. “You can just tell by how they take care of their machinery and equipment, that’s kind of how you take care of the people, too.”
This is just part of the plan to beef up this year’s Cedar County Fair.
Fair Board members announced late last year they will expand their entertainment line-up, adding a third night of concerts to the Fair, transforming Fair weekend into the Cedarstock Music Fest.
Up and coming country music singer Gabby Barrett has been signed to take the stage Sunday, July 18. She will add to the already star-studded line-up of Lanco on Friday, July 16, and Jimmy Allen on Saturday, July 17.
The five-day Cedar County Fair will open Wednesday, July 14 and run through Sunday, July 18. The three-day CedarStock Music Fest concert series will be presented Friday through Sunday, as part of the Fair.
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