Help Save The Northern Gila County Fair

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Late last summer, a sweet older woman walked into the Roundup office and asked whether we knew where she could find information on the Northern Gila County Fair. She had been diligently working on an embroidered quilt which she was eager to enter in the 2004 homemaking arts competition.

Unfortunately, there was no county fair last year. Organizers Walt and Willene Smith retired at the end of 2003 year, and while committee members scrambled to regroup, they couldn't pull it off in time for 2004.

This would-be contestant might have a chance to show off her prize-worthy quilt, thanks to a handful of nostalgic residents who are rebuilding the fair for 2005.

Led by committee chairman Wendell Stevens, the group has resurrected the county fair, and is relocating it from Pine to Payson, where Stevens said, "because of the facilities that already exist in Payson, this is the best place for it."

The Payson Event Center will hold the livestock and equestrian events while the Tonto Apache Gym showcases the arts and crafts exhibits.

The fair is already scheduled for Sept. 8, 9 and 10, and the committee is desperately seeking department superintendents. Departments range from horse and livestock, to homemaking arts and hobbies.

Help resurrect the county fair tradition by volunteering your time. To sign up, or learn more about the fair, contact Charlene Hunt at (928) 978-4186, or Stevens at (928) 472-5734.

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