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Fair fundraiser sees hot ticket bidding

By Staff | Mar 27, 2020

Although attendance estimates were slightly “softer” this year than in previous years, bidding on several different items proved just as intense at the Pierce County Fair fundraiser held Saturday, March 14, at the Rugby Eagles.

“It’s off a bit on the numbers, but the excitement on bidding didn’t show that,” said Don Jelsing, of the Pierce County Fair Board of Directors.

According to Jelsing, North Dakota State University Bison memorabilia, meat packages and baked goods from Carol Fritel were among items that received multiple bids – the latter of which saw bids up to $50.

“That was great to see given (Fritel’s) reputation of wonderful baked goods,” Jelsing said.

Another fixture of the event was the roast beef dinner, served by Grove’s Catering.

Jelsing said the fair may attempt to get more sporting goods up for auction for next year’s fundraiser.

According to Jelsing, attendance estimates were around 275 to 300 people, and the event was estimated to have raised between $23,000 and $25,000 between silent and live auctions. Jelsing said factors that may have impacted attendance included effects on livestock and agricultural markets, and calving season.

Jelsing said monies raised from the fundraiser go toward free stage shows and also allows the fair to maintain a free gate.

“A big thanks (to) everyone for coming because that’s where our money goes to,” Jelsing said.

Jelsing said he gauges the success of the fair and its fundraiser on the reaction of attendees.

“What sticks in my mind when we do this fundraiser is that people have a very close love for what is being produced at the county fair,” said Jelsing. “It’s kind of the same thing with the fundraiser as with the fair. We want people to come to the fundraiser and have a fun time. (We) want to produce an event (in which attendees) leave and can say ‘That was really fun.’ We want them to come to the fundraiser and have a good time, be with friends, and that reflects on the fair itself.”

The fair has been planned for a June 25-28 date range.

“The Fair Board’s opinion is we are staying flexible with this,” Jelsing said.

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