GJCF receives second ‘Fair of the Year’ nomination

Staff report

     For a second time in three years, the Great Jones County Fair was nominated by the IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) for “Fair of the Year.” However, the honor went to Minnesota State Fair.

     This summer marked the 166th GJCF in Monticello.

     The nominations stem from the IEBA board of directors, with the IEBA members conducting the actual voting.

     Those up for Fair of the Year included:

     • California Mid-State Fair – Paso Robles, Calif.

     • Delaware State Fair – Harrington, Del.

     • Great Jones County Fair – Monticello, Iowa

     • Minnesota State Fair – St. Paul, Minn.

     • OC Fair – Costa Mesa, Calif.

     • Pacific National Exhibition – Vancouver, B.C.

     • Wisconsin State Fair – West Allis, Wis.

     “We are clearly the smallest little fair in the mix competing with the state and large regional events,” said GJCF Manager John Harms. “But it was fun to be in the mix once again.”

     The GJCF was previously nominated for the same award in 2015.

     Harms took part in the awards ceremony in early October in Nashville, Tenn. He was asked to be part of a five-person panel for the first time ever at the IEBA conference.

     “IEBA put a group together to discuss the fair business formally as part of the educational process that is offered during the convention,” explained Harms. “The delegates to the convention are made up of entertainers, promoters, agents, and marketing companies for the most part.

     “This fair business is a big part of the entertainment business, so having this discussion, education, and a Q&A session was a great addition to the three-day event,” continued Harms.

     He said it was fun to be part of the panel and convention as a whole, “spreading the news of the Five Best Days of Summer and the Iowa State Fair.

     “We are on the radar!” Harms said.



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