Meadville Tribune

December 12, 2013

Crawford County Fair 2013 deficit explained by improvements

By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

VENANGO — Though the Crawford County Fair posted an overall loss of $6,333.92 for the 2013 edition, the deficit didn’t faze the fair board at its annual meeting Thursday at the Venango Valley Inn.

“The reason we have a negative figure this year is we did a lot of improvements this year at the fairgrounds — we spent a lot of money,” Diana Perry, fair board treasurer, said at Thursday’s meeting.

The fair board spent $187,560.16 on capital improvements in 2013.

Most notable capital expenses were a $50,000 payment on the building of the 5,000-seat grandstand, the 15th of 20 annual payments; a draft horse barn at $29,711.40; an electrical system upgrade at $26,899.51; two roof replacement projects totaling $25,000; work on the sheep/swine building at $17,350; and a 4-inch waterline replacement at $11,322.39 and other improvements.

“We had that money to spend, we spent it,” Perry said. “It kind of put us below (into a deficit), but I think we did well.”

Since 1976, the fair board has made $3.6 million worth of capital improvements to the fairgrounds, including the grandstand and a covered stage, according to the board.

Overall, the fair had revenues of $1,200,832.04 from Dec. 1, 2012, through Nov. 30 of this year with operating expenses of $1,019,605.80 plus $187,560.16 in capital expenses.

The grandstand performances at the 2013 fair did net an overall profit $39,547.05. The grandstand events cost a total of $361,725.95, but earned the fair $401,273, Perry said.

As a nonprofit, any money earned by the fair is reinvested into operations or equipment.

The Band Perry, the headline concert for this year’s fair, earned the fair a profit of $20,016.76 on a total cost of $189.903.24 with revenue of $209,920.

Meanwhile, the Rodney Atkins concert, the other featured concert at this year’s fair, had a net loss of $30,142.91 with a total cost of $94,104.91, but only $63,962 in revenue.

Events at the grandstand during the eight-day fair featured concerts, truck and tractor pulls, a rodeo and demolition derbies.

The demolition derby — with performances both Saturday afternoon and evening on the final day of the fair — earned the fair $34,204.65.

William Davis, first vice president of the fair, said he was pleased with the 2013 financial results. Board president Walter (Boots) Dunn was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

The Crawford County Fair remains Pennsylvania’s largest agricultural fair — with livestock and other exhibits, a variety of entertainment and a family orientation, Davis said.

“It takes all that to make a fair successful,” Davis said.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at


The Crawford County Fair Board has re-elected its officers for 2014 and is recommending that three of its members be reappointed to five-year terms on the board.

The current five-year terms of William Davis, Ron Kerr and John Lasko are due to expire at the end of 2013. All three have agreed to serve another term on the fair board.

At its annual meeting Thursday, the fair board voted to recommend to Crawford County commissioners that all three be reappointed. The county commissioners make the appointments to the fair board.

The three county commissioners, all of whom were in attendance at Thursday’s annual fair board meeting, are expected to act on the appointments at their meeting Dec. 19.

The fair board also re-elected its officers for 2014. The officers for the new year are: Walter (Boots) Dunn, president; Davis, first vice president; William Winters, second vice president; and Diana Perry, secretary/treasurer.