TORRINGTON – Planning for the 2020 Goshen County Fair is “full speed ahead,” according to Goshen County Fairgrounds manager Stephanie Lofink.
Lofink presented the Goshen County Board of Commissioners with her proposed budget for next fiscal year during the GCC’s meeting on Tuesday. She told the commissioners she and the Goshen County Fair Board are, at the moment, planning to have a fair until they’re told to make revisions to their plan due to COVID-19.
“Fair is on until we are mandated that it is cancelled,” Lofink said. “We do have ways we can modify certain things that we can implement when we’re forced to. Until then, we’re full speed ahead.”
A full cancellation of the Goshen County Fair would be a major issue for the fairgrounds, as it has seen many of its regular events – from major fundraisers to weddings and other celebrations – cancelled or postponed since COVID-19 emerged in Wyoming. That would come after the fairgrounds posted their first profits in several years, thanks to a rate increase on the facilities adopted in 2018. Lofink said the fairgrounds has lost more than $47,000 in income due to COVID-19 cancellations – which would have made it a record year.
“This year, even with COVID, it would appear that we may be OK,” Lofink said. “We patterned this budget as close to last year’s as we could.”
But while the fairgrounds had a good year, the county is finding itself forced to constrict budgets even more.
“Everything looks really good,” GCC Vice Chairman Cody Cox said. “I’m quite surprised, really, with how well you’ve done throughout this whole thing and how good the numbers look. Kudos to you guys for that.
“But I can tell you we’re going to do the same thing we did last year – $250,000. I think your budget was a little over that.”
“We’re having to cut everybody,” Chairman John Ellis said. “That’s the way it is.”
Lofink said she understood the GCC’s position, and that she would find a way to make it work.
“We anticipated it would change,” she said.
“We’re being optimistic. A lot of the reunions and stuff that were cancelled this year are rescheduled for next year. Going into next year, we have several things on the books that we wouldn’t have had.”
Ellis had high praises for Lofink and the job she’s done managing the facility.
“I just want to commend you for the last year and a half,” he said.
After she presented her budget proposal, Lofink affirmed the fair board is planning to go ahead with the fair. She said she has been working with Goshen County Public Health, as well as Goshen County Emergency Manager Shelly Kirchhefer, to make sure the event is safe.
“The board is unanimous that we’re full speed ahead until we’re mandated otherwise,” she said.