Buddy Vaughan, 40, has been president of the Curry County Fair Board since January 2001.
Question: How long have you been working with the Curry County Fair?
Answer: I joined the fair board in 1998, and I’ve been working with the fair since then. When Charlie Vannatta was running for Curry County Sheriff, he had to resign from the board, and I took his place. I never showed at the fair when I was a kid, but I got involved when my kids started showing in 1996. I just helped them.
Question: What changes have you seen take place with the fair during your tenure?
Answer: The Kevin Roberts Show Arena was built when Glen Neie was president, and I was on the fair board. All the barns were renovated about that same time. This last fair, we put concrete in the indoor pavilion. By doing that, we were able to move the Pioneer Day activities to it. As far as activities, we’ve been in more entertainment. Years ago, it was Thursday, Friday, Saturday — and now it’s Monday through Saturday. We’re able to give people more things to do and see throughout the week. On Saturdays, we now have the Great American Turtle Race. It’s in its fourth year. And we also started Youth Day, which features activities for kids from infants to age 14. It will be in its fourth year also. We’ve got things like a coloring contest, sack races, a shoe relay, a three-legged race, punt-pass-and-kick, a milk drinking contest, a free throw contest and others. About 40 ENMR-Plateau volunteers come out to help sponsor that.
Question: What kind of planning and preparation goes into a fair? How many man-hours is put into it?
Answer: There’s hundreds of hours put into the fair. When we meet in September, we’re already planning for next year’s fair. We evaluate what was good about what we did and what we need to improve on for the next fair. By January, we’ve pretty much figured out what we’re going to do. We’ve already booked our entertainment, and we’re already in the process of getting it done.
Question: What do you like about being on the fair board and working with a county fair? What motivates you?
Answer: What motivates me really is being at the fair that week, and seeing people at the fair having fun and enjoying themselves. There’s a lot of people who go to the fair to show animals, but there’s more to the fair than that. We’re looking for entertainment to appeal to everyone. The idea is, how can we draw more people from the county to the fair? How can we get people interested in coming out who may not care about animals?
Question: How much work is involved in registering exhibitors and making sure everything’s in place prior to the opening of the fair?
Answer: It’s very well lined out. The Curry County Extension Office takes responsibility for signing up exhibitors, and they take care of all that. We know it will be taken care of. They do a very good job. There’s a ton of volunteers to help with each category, such as the steer show, sheep show, dairy show, the home arts exhibits, the agricultural exhibits, the Junior Livestock Sale and many more. There’s a lot of folks who don’t get credit for all the work they do. The fair couldn’t operate effectively without all those folks helping out. The fair’s not about me. There’s eight other fair board members who work really hard to make sure we have the best county fair we can. And there’s a ton of volunteers who actually make it successful.
— Compiled by CNJ senior writer Gary Mitchell