‘I’m feeling excited’: Siouxlanders express delight with return of Clay County Fair

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SPENCER, Iowa (KCAU) — The Clay County Fair is one of the largest county fairs in the country, bringing in around 300,00 people every year, and fairgoers said they don’t take this event for granted.

There’s 103 years of history at the Clay County Fair in Spencer. One fairgoer, Lloyd Newkirk, has been going to the fair ever since he was a kid.

“This is one of the things, if you live around here, you go to the Spencer fair. It’s just like church, you go, to the Spencer fair,” Newkirk said.

“Oh, I’ve been coming for about twenty years or so, maybe longer. I make it every year for a couple days. I never can fit it in all in one day,” said fairgoer Harriet Reandeau.

Clay County Fair CEO Jeremy Parsons said the fair not only brings around 300,000 people, but millions of dollars.

“Obviously, with no fair in 2020, we lost three-fourths of our income. so basically $3 million of our operation did not occur because there wasn’t a fair. So being able to come back, for us, first of all, required a huge community fundraising effort called ‘Save the Fair,’ just to provide us with the operating capital to put on this fair,” Parsons said.

The gates are opened and fairgoers are filled with undeniable nostalgia.

“I’m feeling excited! And I can’t wait to hangout and ride the rides and look it all over and everything. I’m excited,” said fairgoer Mindy Ehlers.

There are 31 new foods to try, with more than 60 food vendors available. However, the craze over spudnuts is as big as ever.

As the Ferris wheel makes it rounds and tractors truck along, fairgoers are just happy it’s back.

“I wish I had more time to stay here,” Newkirk said.

More than 800 4-H and FFA exhibitors from four different states will be here throughout the week. Fairgoers said they’re so appreciative that agriculture is heavily incorporated throughout the fair.

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