Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

March 9, 2013

WHO WE ARE: Thousands flock to the Elkhart County 4-H Fair each year to have fun and learn life-long lessons

GOSHEN — Tim Graber of Goshen has been on the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board close to 14 years. His time spent with the fair boasts a longer history.

“I grew up in that fair,” he said.

Graber was in the 4-H Lamb Club as a youth, and now his children are, too. He said his father always had horses at the fairgrounds.

“I followed my dad around with those horses pretty much every day,” he recalled. “We were always at the fairgrounds.”

Graber’s childhood involvement with the fair extended into his adulthood. This year, he’s the fair president. He’s also at the helm during a pivotal period for the fairgrounds.

In July 2011, the grounds tripled in size after fair officials finalized a $1.4 million purchase of around 250 acres from Aggregate Industries. The land was to the east of the fair’s then-current 131 acres.

A fundraising drive was undertaken to cover the cost. The debt was retired at the end of August 2012.

Now what? Planning, certainly. Fair officials are looking to the future and assessing their options.

They’re eying a north/south road on the former Aggregate ground that would link C.R.s 34 and 36. Currently, C.R. 34 is the only way in or out of the fair. Graber anticipates an eastward expansion of 4-H programs, too. And providing parking on the “new” acreage is key.

The fair crew is taking a long view in charting the course of a festival that last year notched a gate attendance of 244,883. The visitors came to see the 4-H projects, stroll past the commercial exhibits, eat elephant ears, maybe catch the Styx show — all that and more. They’re the people who help make Elkhart County’s event what local organizers say is one of the largest county fairs in the United States.

With the new acreage, the Elkhart County fair went through a growth spurt. Graber is optimistic about its potential.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said.

Text Only
Breaking News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes, I have noticed more problem properties
No, I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results