The Great Northern Fair Board continued planning the activities at the fair in Hill County this summer, including the possibility of bringing a reptile attraction and the chance of having some new food attractions.
Fairground manager Tim Solomon said he has been in contact with a representative of a reptile show that could perform at the Great Northern Fair, and the board might be able to get a deal on the show as it books its tour through the region.
The show includes an alligator and boa constrictor, turtles and other animals, which would be on the midway all day as well as having three shows all day, Solomon said. He said the original price for the show was listed as $9,000 but he is now hearing it could go as low as $6,500 or lower.
Getting the show at a lower cost would free up money for other entertainment, including looking at some local acts, Solomon said.
The main stage entertainment looks to be set, including the rodeo action, truck pull and Jaycees Demolition Derby, he added.
He also told the board that the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Board is interested in renting some storage space in its old museum building.
The museum sold the building to the county when it moved from the fairground to the old federal courthouse and post office on 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue and then to its current location in the Holiday Village Mall.
The museum board is looking for additional storage to make up for some potential changes in its storage and display space at the Holiday Village Mall, Solomon said, adding that while he doesn’t want to tie up a fair building, the proposed $200-a-month rent would help during times of declining budgets and the fair trying to become more self-sufficient.
He said he believes he can move some of the fair items stored in the building and free up enough space for the museum — which is requesting about 800 square feet — in the back office and upstairs of the building.
Solomon said giving up the main part of the building, which is rented by organizations through the summer outside of the fair, would be a problem, but just using part of the building would allow the extra income from the museum board.
He added that the museum is still storing some items in the building now without paying rent.
Board member Chad Murnin said, and Solomon agreed, that he would support it only because the museum is another county-funded entity. If the action was competing with private businesses, he would opppose the motion, Murnin said.
The board unanimously approved having a contract drafted and reviewed by the county attorney and presented to the museum board.
Solomon said he also is talking to the museum board about its possibly opening a food booth. A space may be opening with the food booth operated by the North Central Senior Center, which may change its operations, he said.
If that space does open up, he has several groups, including the museum board, that are interested in opening new booths, Solomon said.