Shoot for the Stars during the Big Horn County Fair

Barbara Anne Greene

Big Horn County Fair Board members announced at their May 3 meeting that “Shoot for the Stars” is the theme of this year’s county fair.

Members Tracy Haley, Warren Adams, Kelli Mercer, Austin Layne and Thomas Bridges were in attendance. Also attending were Gretchen Gasvoda, Scott Mattis and fair manager Masey Tippets.

The board reviewed a contract from Mattis to provide the sound for fair. It included equipment and running it for the free stage, livestock shows, etc. The contract was approved.

Tippets said the queen contest is set for June 4 at 4 p.m. Applications will be accepted until May 24. There was some discussion about how the crowns for the royalty should be returned to the fair so they can be used year after year. Mercer said she would handle ordering the buckles for the royalty. Tippets has created a Big Horn County Rodeo Queen Contest Event on Facebook.

Tippets is working on booking acts for the fair including the free stage. After some discussion the board decided to mix up the free stage performances. They would like to book the acts for an hour-long performance and having background music playing when there are no acts on the stage. Mattis said he could provide Karaoke as well. The fair hopes to book an artist for a concert as well. They are also adjusting the hours for the free stage. The changes will appear in the fair book.

Board members deliberated about hiring part-time help to assist Tippets with selling fair ads. They were in favor of it. Bridges planned to bring up the idea up at the county commissioner’s next meeting. He said there was room in the budget to do so.

Adams led a dialog about the electrical situation. He said work is needed before fair. He has discussed this with the Jeremy Pouska, the county maintenance supervisor.

Mercer read to the board the Big Horn County Fairgrounds Multi-purpose Building membership agreement that was updated on May 1. Some of the changes are listed below.

• Open ride: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

• Members hours: Monday - Sunday 8 a.m. -10 p.m.

• Memberships are for one year starting on Jan. 1. Memberships started after Jan. 1 will be prorated.

• Cost per person: $300.

• Cost per family: $900 (immediate family up to four people)

• Cost per hour for non-members: $20.

• Non-members may not bring in cattle unless they create an event.

• FOB replacement: $15

• Members only have the use of the building seven days a week 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. unless an event is scheduled/reserved during those hours.

• Members may reserve for private building use. The cost is $50 per hour, limited to two times weekly and not to exceed four hours per time.

• Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance and paid in advance.

• Cancelations must be made with at least 24 hours notice. Failing to do so will result in forfeiture of payment.

• If members bring in cattle a damage/cleaning deposit of $200 is required. County personnel will return the deposit after an inspection if there is no damage/cleaning needed.

• Only county employees may run county equipment.

• No outside equipment may be brought in.

• Dogs are allowed in the building but not to run free outside.

Mercer also read the terms and conditions. The agreement will be sent to the county attorney for review. In a work meeting with the commissioners, the commission was in favor of the agreement. The board stressed that the rules will be enforced strictly.

The board discussed the need for a new pig barn. Bridges believes there is enough money left over in this year’s budget to put down at least a concrete pad. He estimated the cost for the materials and work to be $45,000-$50,000. Mercer mentioned that Commissioner Felix Carrizales thought more COVID-19 money could be coming to the county. Perhaps that money can be used. She said Natural Resources Conservation Service might have funds, too.

Some changes will be in place this year. Those include:

• Camping reservations will be open on July 1.

• No smoking will be allowed in the midway or within any of the buildings or within 15 feet of any buildings.