By Dan Colton
for The Beacon
Attendance at the Sheboygan County Fair was higher than usual this year, officials report.
According to Sheboygan County Fair Association Treasurer Dave Mohs, vendors ran out of food and drink Sunday night. That caused a scramble to restock low provisions, Mohs said. He estimated between 150,000 to 175,000 fair-goers toured the grounds across the fair’s five days, although no official count is kept.
“I know we did have very good crowds,” Mohs said. “We were well above last year.”
The large turnout stressed logistical capabilities.
“We were close to running out of (beer and soda) on Sunday,” Mohs said. “We hit our allotment on Sunday and so we had to scramble to find more product to sell … We had to get extra food in … So it was a very good year.”
Mohs said the Sheboygan County Fair is considered a top regional destination within the industry. One reason for the widespread draw, Mohs said, are the rides, games and large variety of food offerings. According to Mohs, plenty of entertainment options equates to visitors through the gates.
Vehicles from Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota are visible in the parking areas every year, he said.
“They come from all over,” Mohs said. “When you go through the parking lot you see cars from out-of-state … One couple couldn’t believe how big we were for a county fair. We probably are in the top two or three as far as attendance of vendors and things offered in the state.”
He added, “We have a pretty good reputation for people that follow fairs.”
Another main component of the fair are the events staged on the grandstand. Mohs said the tractor pulls, bull riding and sprint car racing round out the weekend of family fun. The fair association has tried implementing new grandstand events, and while some events have fallen to the wayside, the tried-and-true lineup keeps people coming back year after year, Mohs said.
Professional racer Tony Stewart made an appearance during the IRA Sprint Car event on Saturday, and on Sunday, the bull riding attraction packed the house, Mohs said.
“Sunday afternoon was the extreme bull riding and barrel racing,” Mohs said. “That’s one of those things we started with a few years ago … and were surprised the third year it still did so well, and it’s now our fourth year … It’s a big hit. I think it’s one of those things that’s not offered in this area a great deal.”
All in all, Mohs said, the fair proved to be a great success. There were no major instances of misbehavior or accidents that Mohr was aware of. And with another year of planning to look forward to, Mohs said next year’s fair should be just as successful as 2019.
“It was a very good year,” he said.