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Though the next Muscatine County Fair will not take place for another seven months, the Muscatine County Fair Board has a big achievement to celebrate. The Association of Iowa Fairs (AIF) awarded them the Blue Ribbon Fair Award for the Southeast District, at their annual conference in Des Moines, Iowa, at the beginning of December.
Each year, the AIF presents six Blue Ribbon Fair Awards, one to each of its six regional districts. Representatives from the AIF visit each fair in their district and select the one they believe has made the most improvements to receive the Blue Ribbon Fair Award. Lori Gosenberg, Fair Manager for the Muscatine County Fair, believes they won because of numerous recent renovations made to the Muscatine County Fair Grounds. Over the last three years, the fair board has made upgrades to the swine pavilion, exhibit hall, fine arts building, and main entrance, as well as building a new bathroom and shower facility. At the beginning of that period in 2015, the State Society of Iowa also assisted the fairgrounds in becoming a part of the National Register of Historic Places, which encouraged the fairgrounds to proceed with their renovations and provided support to them as well.
According to Gosenberg, the Muscatine County Fair has not won a Blue-Ribbon Fair Award for the past fifteen to twenty years, making this year’s award a particularly meaningful achievement. Gosenberg said, “both myself and the fair board feel very honored to have our renovations recognized. I feel it will make us work even harder to make our fair better.”
In the spirit of making the 2019 Muscatine County Fair the best one yet, Gosenberg and the fair board have already gotten to work planning it and securing entertainment. The 2019 fair will run from July 17th to the 21st. Several old favorites will return, including Charlie the Clown, the Chris Short Marionettes, the chainsaw artist, the tractor pull, the demolition derby, and the trailer races. Gosenberg shared that Wednesday and Thursday night’s acts as well as the headline concert on Saturday have not been booked yet, but that she and the other fair board members have started contacting groups and will announce their selections in the next few weeks.
Through their hard work and dedication, Gosenberg and the fair board have made the Muscatine County Fair something to feel proud of. The AIF’s Blue Ribbon Award recognizes the many improvements the group has made to the fairgrounds that have made them an even more enjoyable place for the people of Muscatine to enjoy the lazy summer days of late July. While those days may feel far off in this chilly part of the year, the Blue Ribbon Award gives everyone a reason to think about the Muscatine County Fair, and to anticipate how much they will enjoy it next year.

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