Fair Board President Said Attendance Spiked
Although average citizens only see the Meramec Community Fair during one of the last weeks in June, it is a year-round deal for members of the fair board. Arizona native Emily Garcia knows this to be true.
Garcia has been on the fair board for all of her three years in Sullivan, but took over a bigger role prior to the 31st annual community fair. She was voted in as president of the 27-member fair board while still doing her previous job, which was overseeing the commercial booths.
“I think (the fair) really brings the community together,” Garcia said. “I think it’s a good morale booster for the community. I think it’s something that the community wants and that the community needs.”
While the fair was a success, Garcia did admit that the details of it all could become pretty overwhelming at times. But, the pieces started to fall together as the days of the fair rolled around.
“It was really cool for me to walk through the fairgrounds and say ‘oh that’s happening because this person did this,’” Garcia said. “I was able to see the full picture of the fair. I had a new perspective.”
With Garcia as president, the fair board implemented some changes. While none of them were major, she said she wanted to take advantage of the fact that Fidelty offered free wifi on the fair grounds. They tried more communication through Facebook, and they tried taking credit cards at the front gate rather than it being cash-only.
“I think I want to take what we’ve learned and kind of jump in with both feet next year,” Garcia said.
Even though the fair just ended, meetings are already in the works for the fair board. The purpose of the upcoming meeting is to talk about what went well and what didn’t go well at this year’s fair, and to already begin planning for the next.
And even though meetings are already in full swing, a lot of what the fair needs cannot be pulled off until two or three months before the fair actually comes to town.
“It’s just constant brainstorming about how we can get more of the community involved,” Garcia said. “We want to develop relationships throughout the community.”
The 31st Annual Meramec Community Fair saw a spike in attendance as well as an increase in commercial vendors and sponsors. Garcia sees the increase in numbers as reassurance that herself and the fair board are doing something right, and people are still excited for the week in June when the fair comes to town.
“I think it would be fun to go back to the roots of a fair,” Garcia said.
Garcia has plenty of new ideas that she hopes to bounce off of others on the fair board.
Outside of her life with the fair, Garcia is a mother of three and a business owner. She has also recently started a job with the Sullivan Police Department as a dispatcher and shows further involvement in her community by being involved with Franklin County Court Appointed Special Advocates where she serves as president on their board of directors.
With all that she does outside the fair, Garcia said it could get a little difficult to balance everything during fair week. However, her kids were with her on the fairgrounds and Garcia said they loved being able to help her out.
Garcia said that the fair is something that the community looks forward to every year, and she hopes that she can continue to help make the fair more enjoyable for everyone while helping the community as well.