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Fair Board looks at improvements
lafayette county fair

LAFAYETTE COUNTY – The Lafayette County Fair Committee met on a cold Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 with Chair Jack Wiegel calling the meeting to order on at 7:00 p.m. at the UW Extension Lobby.

The topic of improvements to the fairgrounds was brought up and Fair Secretary, Kari Ruf had quotes for new fans in the barns. After some discussion the committee decided on and approved to purchase twelve fans at $3,000 total. Six will be placed in the pig barn and the other six fans will be placed in the other barn areas. The fans will be hooked on to the rafters and could be moved if needed. This will be paid for out of Livestock Committee funds.

Barn Posts

County Chair, Jack Sauer brought up fixing rotted off posts in the barns. Sauer contacted an outfit that replaces and repairs posts in pole barns. A system of sleeves that go around the post and then a machine pushes the sleeve into the ground was demonstrated on YouTube. Sauer thought the system would be the cheapest way to make the repairs. The cost (if 30 posts were to be replaced) would be $250 per sleeve and would include the installation.

Wiegel said, “This is something that will eventually need to be done. We need to take a closer look at maybe the next meeting.”

Other fixes for the poles were brought up.

No action was taken.


Coolers/refrigerators was next to be discussed. There are several coolers that have been damaged by recent floods that need replacing. Many items were brought up and discussed, including wheels on the coolers – so they could be moved out of harms way. The committee approved looking into purchasing two coolers either new or used. A price was not established.

It was mentioned that at a previous meeting, the Livestock Committee indicated that they were not in favor of spending for any improvements on the current fairgrounds.

The Livestock Committee started a group titled Southwest Wisconsin Ag Innovation Center (SWAG) that has begun fundraising efforts to create a new fairgrounds at the southern end of the City of Darlington. Their website can be viewed at

In other business:

•The committee discussed grandstand entertainment at this year’s fair with one significant day swap in the lineup. Area Tractor Pull will move to Wednesday and Monster Truck Show will move to Thursday. The other tentative change will be to Sunday Gauntlet lineup is adding a Combine Demolition Derby, which will be the finale for the evening and for the fair.

The grandstand entertainment lineup is as follows: Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m. – Area Tractor Pull; Thursday, July 16, 6:00 p.m. – All Star Monster Trucks; Friday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. – Dirt Track Racing; Saturday, July 18, 12:00 noon – Area Tractor Pulls & Badger State Tractor Pulls; Sunday, July 19, 5:30 p.m. – Gauntlet, Crash Cars, Truck & Trailer Races and Combine Demolition Derby.

•The committee went through fair book changes. The most notable was animals must be picked by June 8. Other changes include: beef will come to the fair on Wednesday instead of Thursday; club herd was removed; adding a category of plants and weeds; add superintendents are responsible for dumping garbage in their areas; horses changes (having to do with state competition); small animals division will be allow to show thirteen animals; Fairest of the Fair fundraiser at the auction will be held after the grand and reserve champions are sold. All items of fair book changes were approved.

•Approved adding a gilt class to the swine show. The details of how brackets and the show will be decided later. It was consensus that this will not add any more time to the fair.

•Approved changing admission prices for the grandstand entry on Thursday and Friday of the fair, The changes are 5 – 12 year olds will be charged $5 and 13 years olds and up will be at $10.

•Discussed where the milk will go from the dairy cows at the fair. A motion was made and approved that if the milk does get purchased the check will go to exhibitors.

•Approved a contract with the Lafayette County Promotions LLC. The racing association will provide races for the Fair on Friday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at a cost of $12,700 from the Fair. Clearing the track of debris after fair events was discussed.

•Approved a contract with Lafayette County Promotions LLC for the 2020 racing season costing $600. This is income to the fair. This goes to County Board for final approval. One additional ‘test and tune’ will be added for one week after the fair.

•Approved allowing Shullsburg Fourth of July Committee to use three of the fair’s electric boards and pay for unhooking and re-hook up.

•Approved the Small Animal Group use of the fair grounds on April 18, 2020 for their annual animal swap.

•Discussed promoting camping facilities at the fairgrounds.

•Created a theme for this year’s fair ‘Boots on the Grounds’. This will feature pictures of people that make the fair happen and the boots that they wear. This will be used in advertising. Ruf has been working on this project. The fair is looking for old or unused boots to be donated to the fairgrounds for decoration. Approved by the committee.

•Approved payment of vouchers in the amount of $439.