July 22, 2008

La Crosse Interstate Fair Flourishes Despite Storms

By Dan Springer, La Crosse Tribune, Wis.

Jul. 22--The La Crosse Interstate Fair ended Sunday after another strong year, organizers said, with a large number of exhibitors and good attendance despite several storms during its five-day run.

Since the fair is free, an exact attendance count is not kept, but all indications are attendance still was high, said Marla Stello, secretary of the La Crosse County Agricultural Society. "We ran out of parking spaces ... Friday and Saturday, and even early in the week, it was strong," Stello said.

The fair had more than 12,000 entries, including a few hundred more vegetable entries, more livestock entries and a strong showing during Sunday's draft horse exhibition.

This year's weather did result in fewer flower entries, Stello said.

Unlike the cool, dry weather in 2007, this year's fair had a wide range of conditions -- periods of heat and humidity, heavy rain and near-ideal sunny weather, Stello said.

"Although it rained, it didn't really affect us," Stello said. "When it rained, it came down all at one time, in gushes, and then stopped and cleared up so people could still make it out."

Stello noted it was a safe fair as well, with no serious injuries.

The La Crosse Interstate Fair is operated by the Agricultural Society. But, Stello said, the fair wouldn't be possible without the large number of volunteers.


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