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Published July 13, 2009, 06:34 AM

Fair ’n’ festival

Both the Stutsman County Fair and the Tatanka Festival had great results in Jamestown this past week, event organizers say. “This year will be a benchmark for us,” said Al Lindberg, Stutsman County Fair Board president. Beautiful weather and a lack of mosquitoes helped bring in near-record attendance for the four-day event, Lindberg said.

By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun

Both the Stutsman County Fair and the Tatanka Festival had great results in Jamestown this past week, event organizers say.

“This year will be a benchmark for us,” said Al Lindberg, Stutsman County Fair Board president.

Beautiful weather and a lack of mosquitoes helped bring in near-record attendance for the four-day event, Lindberg said.

“It seemed like the economy was alive and well in Jamestown,” said Mike Williams, Stutsman County Fair treasurer.

Williams said more than 30,000 people attended the four day event.

Teenagers and families spent most of their time on the midway while adults tended to spend most of their time watching the live entertainment in the beer garden, Lindberg said.

“We got such a good balance out here where everybody can have a good time,” he said.

The Johnny Holm Band on Thursday night packed in the most visitors for the entertainment but all of the bands had great crowds, Lindberg said.

The carnival and food grosses were also the highest they’ve ever been, he said.

“Our independent food vendors are just tickled,” Lindberg said.

But the fair didn’t go off without any problems; one woman was injured on the bungee jump ride and a turkey did get loose, he said. The woman has recovered from her injuries and the turkey was recovered.

Next year’s county fair, tentatively scheduled to begin on the Wednesday following the Fourth of July, will bring back the Johnny Holm Band and the Mighty Thomas Carnival, he said.

South of the fairgrounds, the Tatanka Festival also had a great showing, said Felicia Sargeant, National Buffalo Museum director.

“As far as I can tell it went really well,” Sargeant said.

The attendance numbers are similar, if not higher to the numbers from 2007, because Jamestown had its 125th Celebration in 2008 and the festival was low key, she said.

Sargeant also credits the high turnouts to beautiful weather; she said previous festivals have been plagued by 100 degrees days or high winds.

More than 1,500 people came through the gate at Frontier Village on Saturday, said Nina Sneider, Buffalo City Tourism Foundation director. Saturday’s downtown parade drew the most spectators at about 3,000, Sargeant said.

One event Sargeant plans on bringing back is the Native American drumming and dancing. She said 115 people attended the event and people were asking throughout the day when they would perform again.

Next year’s event will run as close as possible to June 10, White Cloud’s birthday, she said.

Sargeant credited all of the different city organizations for coming together and putting on a great festival.

Partners included the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation, Jamestown Classic Car Club, the National Buffalo Museum, Frontier Village, the Civic Center, Stutsman County Memorial Museum, the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce, Jamestown Arts Center, Hugo’s and County Market.

“It all came together very well,” Sargeant said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at brodgers@jamestownsun.com

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