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Grant helps fair clean up

It’s going to be a lot of work, but Jim Eakin and Don Dillon are ready to do what it takes to get food booths at the Island County Fair in shape by this summer. - Jennifer Conway
It’s going to be a lot of work, but Jim Eakin and Don Dillon are ready to do what it takes to get food booths at the Island County Fair in shape by this summer.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway

The Island County Fair's food booths are getting a makeover.

For the second year in a row the Island County Fair has received a special assistance grant from the Washington State Department of Agriculture to make needed repairs.

The fair will receive $13,255 to repair, re-roof and replace the facades of the food concession booths located along the northeast side of the fairgrounds on either side of the main stage.

Debbie Holbert, a member of the Island County Fair Association who wrote the grant application, said the booths are in dire need of repair.

"They are the worst things on the grounds," Holbert said.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $26,500. To receive the grant, the fair had to match the amount with materials and paid and volunteer labor.

The money comes out of a $100,000 Department of Agriculture fund. This year the Department of Agriculture received grant applications totalling $264,000, Holbert said. Projects had to demonstrate the most urgent health, safety and legal needs, she said.

Jim Eakin, the fair's maintenance supervisor and president of its board of directors, said the food boots will get new counters, roll up windows, dutch doors and matching awnings. In addition, the fair will pour foundations to raise the booths above ground level. Many of the changes come in response to requests from the city of Langley to upgrade the booths.

"The city's (Langley) had some major issues with the booths," Holbert said.

It's no surprise, since many of the booths were "thrown together" over the years and had never been brought up to code, Holbert said.

Work on the food booths has been started because the grant program requires the project to be completed by July 31. The Island County Fair will run from August 14-17 this year.

In 2002 the fair received approximately $11,000 towards the cost of a new arena fence from the Department of Agriculture.

Volunteers are still needed to help with the project and anyone wishing to do so can call the fair office at 221-4677.

Community Events, April 2014

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