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Hancock County Fair attendance, best ever

                                                                                     CHAMPION FAIR BABY BOY

According to estimates, well over 9,000 people attended the 2021 Hancock County Fair. This number counts both paid attendance and people such as workers, law enforcement and other emergency service personnel the work to keep people safe and the fair functioning smoothly.

“I think it was probably the best we ever had,” Hancock County Fair Board President Franklin Powers said. “I have never seen it that crowded before.”

Hancock County Fair Board Treasurer Paula Powers said gate receipts increased each night. Receipts totaled $12,618 on Thursday night, more than doubled to $26,109 on Friday night, and almost doubled again on Saturday night when receipts totaled $49,246. The grand total for all three nights was $87,973, of which the fair board received $43,956.50. Saturday night’s proceeds impressed treasurer Powers.

“Since I have been the treasurer, that is the most we have done on a Saturday,” Paula said. “I have never seen the like of people; they were everywhere.”

The Demolition Derby is the main draw on Saturday night, and according to various reports the line to enter into the fairgrounds stretched nearly two miles long. Reports say the line stretched along state Route 1389 to U.S. Hwy 60, acro

ss U.S. 60 and down town hill to Main Street, turned right toward the bridge, went across the bridge and into Cannelton, Ind. The line also stretched east and west along U.S. 60.


The entire hillside by the motor sports arena was packed with people. People also lined the hillside on the access road going around the far side of the midway by the horse arena. So many people flocked to the demolition derby that space to sit ran out and people literally sat immediately in front of the active grill behind the Lewisport Lions Club booth.

Less than two feet of space existed between the back of the grill and the crowd of people, which caused some trouble. People tried to squeeze between the hot grill and the crowd to find a place to sit on the hillside.

The massive amount of people that attended the fair on Saturday night helped many food booths sell out of food. The Lewisport Lions Club booth ran out of Ribeye steak sandwiches by 8:30 p.m. and pork steak sandwiches shortly after that. According to club president Kasey Emmick, the club grilled 300 ribeye steaks and 150 pork steaks on Saturday night alone.

The Hancock County Homemakers held a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and sold out. The group sold the breakfast as all-you-can-eat, and included sausage and a drink in the meal for $6. A line of people stood at the booth all morning to buy a breakfast.

Hawesville Lions Club Treasurer Bob Ogle said the club’s booth enjoyed its biggest year ever. He said the club sold its trademark corndogs and French fries, and also chicken nuggets and fruit drinks for kids.

“It was the largest number of sales dollar-wise, and the largest profit ever,” Ogle said.

He said the booth made almost $10,000 in profit off of its sales.

To keep the fair fresh and new each year, the fair board constantly looks for new attractions/events for the fair. This year the fair added go-cart racing.

“I thought the go carts were a really good draw Friday night,” Treasurer Powers said.

Board President Franklin Powers agreed. The races started around 7 p.m. and lasted to well past midnight. Franklin said he did not get home until after 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

“I think it is something we can build on,” Franklin said. “It can get better and we will do better in the future.”

The board also made a change to help the parents of children attending the fair by placing bench by the rides to allow them to sit down while their children rode on a ride. He said the benches went over quite well.

“It made me feel really well to see people use those benches,” Franklin said.

Powers said it took a team effort to make this year’s fair a success. He said members of the board work tirelessly to ensure the people of Hancock County get a first-rate event. The effort shows in the support the county shows the fair, he said.

“I am just thrilled with the way the fair went,” Franklin said. “I am so happy of the support of the people of Hancock County.”

By Ralph Dickerson

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