BROKEN BOW–The Custer County Fairgrounds looks forward to a bright future following the fourth annual Ag Society Winter Ball held on Saturday, January 25.
Fairgrounds Administrator (under the previous title of Events Coordinator) Michelle Nelson said after a rough 2019, the winter ball brought in an estimated $22,000 to use for future projects at the fairgrounds.
“Our future is looking bright! And we have such a wonderful county that supports the Custer County Fairgrounds!” Nelson said.
Approximately 260 people enjoyed an evening of socializing and appetizers, prime rib, silent and live auctions, and live music performed by Fly-Over.
Ag Society Treasurer Ira Spanel said the proceeds from Saturday’s ball will go toward camper hookups and electrical improvements.
“Right now one of the biggest projects is going to be is getting more camper hookups out there at the fairgrounds. You know, we’ve added some in the years past and there just always seems to be a bigger demand for them so we wanted to be able to accommodate more campers in there–especially during fair time. I mean it’s just a huge, huge thing for fair time,” Spanel continued.
Spanel added that the camper hookups provide a revenue stream for the fairgrounds and have an economic impact in the community.
“So they [fairground visitors] bring in with the trailer, they got living quarters, they back in, they unhook the pick-up. And if the family is here they’re going to run downtown, they’re going to eat at our local businesses. Even if they grill out they’re going to come to the grocery stores,” Spanel said. “That is all outside money that’s coming in not only to the fairgrounds but the entire community of Broken Bow.”
While selling beads for the evening’s “Heads or Tails” game, Ag Society member Deana Hardee said she is originally from Georgia but appreciates what the fairgrounds brings to Custer County. She told KCNI/KBBN she hopes to continue providing great opportunities for area youth.
Former Ag Society member Kevin Cooksley was in attendance having served on the board for 15 years. Cooksley’s dad served on the board for 30 years and Kevin’s son Casey is now on the board.
“The fairgrounds is in my blood,” Kevin Cooksley said. “It’s an economic engine that brings money to the area.”
Cooksley added that he is glad to see the next generation keeping 4-H alive and well.
“Well number one it’s [4-H] family oriented and it provides an opportunity for a variety of activities for all the kids–everything from archery to marksmanship, livestock, and art. We provide a great venue for all of that so we’re fortunate we have a great 4-H program, we’ve got a great extension,” Cooksley said.
Jim Eberle served as the auctioneer during the Winter Ball and Adam Smith served as the emcee. Auction items included an indoor arena membership, a 1935 picture of the fair, local school swag, gift baskets, beef bundles, a lamp made from a tree from the fairgrounds (donated by Lonesome River Ranch), pedal car, golf, corn, seed, hunts, boat rides, bull riding tickets, a cowhide, and much more.