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Boone County fair opens with uncertain future

The Boone County Fair is open for business, but the fair faces an uncertain future. This year could be its last on the county-owned land and fair administrators said they’re not sure where to take it.

“We haven’t discussed where we’re going to go. As soon as the fair is over with, that will be one of the first topics that we’re going to talk about — what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it,” said Jeff Cook, president of the Boone County Fair board.

Cook said the fair’s future is in limbo. This comes after voters said “no” in August to a tax increase for county parks and recreation. The county no longer has the funds to maintain the property during off-season.

Cook said his biggest concern is for the 4H kids. He said 4H kids must show at the county level before moving up to state. With no county fair, they would have nowhere to show their animals.

A couple weeks ago county leaders formed a committee to decide what to do with the more than 100 acres of land. Much of the first committee meeting was spent discussing a possible sports complex for the area. At this point it’s unclear if the fair will be included in the plan.

“I think the writing is on the wall on what that committee wants. Whether we can change that or not… I don’t know,” said Cook.

Cook said next year’s fair might not have the carnival because of all the uncertainty, but hopes to have the 4H and FFA events.

The Boone County Fair runs from July 21 to 25.

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