HUMBOLDT COUNTY- The Humboldt County fair was given the green light Tuesday morning to move forward with its projected operational budget. In a unanimous vote the budget was passed.
It is in its 118th year, the fair has been a summertime tradition for people of the North Coast since 1896, but last year the county fair lost thousands of dollars something they are looking to change this year.
"We hope to recognize $100,000 in profit this year,” said Humboldt County Fair General Manager Richard Conway, “I do not know that we will, I think the racing side has a lot to do with that."
The fair $100,000 dollars in 2013, and according to Conway, a large majority of that was due to horse racing, because the expenses outweighed the revenue.
"Our challenge is the horse population and attracting enough horses to come up and participate in the races. We need to draw about 250 to 300 horse to have a solid meet."
He says the fair’s biggest competitor is Albany's Golden Gate Field in the Bay Area, which runs simultaneously with the fair, and splits the horse population in half.
However, this summer they plan to bring both jockeys and horses from out of the area, which Conway hopes will give them the earnings they need,
"I think we have an active recruiting program in bringing horses out of the Pacific Northwest like Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We can increase the horse population to the levels we need to have a profitable meet."
The Board of Supervisors approved the operational budget for the fair, which is around $1.3 million, about $200,000 dollars less than last year.