by Tim Pederson
The 2019 Amherst Fair will be remembered for many years by young exhibitors. The chaos all began on Friday night when the fairgrounds had to be evacuated at 9 p.m. because of severe storm/tornado warning. The storm passed through leaving no damage to the fairgrounds, buildings, etc., but Saturday morning was a different story when another storm hit. This time the storm did extensive damage to buildings, tents, cattle trailers, campers, and the carnival. It is a blessing that no one was hurt as there were many people in the buildings watching various judging going on.
The first action taken by fair board members and the fire department was to assess the damage and decide what to do next. People were not allowed to leave the fairgrounds because power lines were down and trees were blocking roads. With the help of the fire department, we were able to set up a temporary water source for all the animals. A generator was brought in to get the milking parlor up and running, and one of our wells functioning. Since power lines were down, and with no running water in many areas, it was decided that the fair would not be able to continue.
With the help of many volunteers and the Blenker Construction the task of removing trees from various structures and trailers started. Once the trailers were cleared the fair board allowed exhibitors to take their animals and projects home. The carnival needed help with trees on their structures also. The carnival then started to tear down their rides in preparation of departing.
The next day the Market Animal Auction was able to be held, thanks to many people helping get power to the Husky Hansen Building. The volleyball tournament went on as scheduled, as well as the horse show and rabbit judging. All of the exhibits were judged and exhibitors received their premiums.
The Fair Board is now getting estimates to repair the buildings, equipment and fences. Some buildings have minor damage, and four buildings have extensive damage.
Different groups have stepped up to help the Amherst Fair overcome our financial losses. The Rosholt Fair Board designated the proceeds from Sunday of their fair to help the Amherst fair raise money. On that day, the Amherst Fair – with the help of the Rosholt Fair – raised just over $6000.00. We greatly appreciate the Rosholt Fair and their financial support. A & P Enterprise and Christman Amusement also have donated money to help cover the financial losses.
On October 12th at 1 p.m. there will be a benefit demolition derby, along with live music from Around Town. The band will play one hour before the demo and then again after the demo. There will also be a food stand run by Ambrosia’s Pub and Grill. The Amherst Fair Board invites everyone to come out to enjoy the music and demolition derby.