Today, April 6, 2022, the Clark County Fair and Rodeo is “Back in the Saddle” and started after a 2-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. We will be doing a series of articles all written by David Crosby, well known Nevada attorney and part of the group that helped bring the Clark County Fair to Logandale, Nevada in 1988. These articles are excerpts from one written memorial of the birth of the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in its new and current location in Moapa Valley.
Caveat: I prepare this “information” based mainly on – possible faulty – memory of an event and related matters that took place about thirty-four years ago. It is also from my personal perspective and experience which could be slightly opinionated – no disrespect intended.
1988 Fair Event:
The 1988 fair was scheduled for early April. The Fine Arts building was not functional as the beams and other materials were lying on the concrete pad on which they would be later erected and there was very little power scattered throughout the facility. We had to rent a number of large tents and a temporary power supply (generators) for the basic operation of the facility. I believe the toilets for the most part were portably acquired locally.
The livestock pavilion was in some stage of finished but it could accurately be said that the event was particularly “rustic” So much so that Glen Hardy came to me a few days prior to opening and stated that the broad fair couldn’t happen – we were just not ready but I told him it’s too late to turn back we had worked too hard and had too many commitments; that we had to go forward and we did.
The weather this time of year in this area is always unpredictable; it might be beautifully sunny, windy, or cold and rainy. This 1988 year was windy and rainy and not warm so we had additional challenges.
I had no background in county fairs or similar events but I did have some thoughts on the matter that I felt were significant and that has remained in my mind to this day although some of them may never be as exciting to others as they were to me.
1. A county fair is the showcase for the entire Clark County community so we invited every community in the county to participate to the extent they wanted or were able to by displaying the things they were proud of relative to their particular community which some did.
2. We needed to have a fair board that was representative of broad community interests and was homogenous in perspective but with a focus on the agricultural and livestock fair tradition.
a. Vicky Newell miraculously appeared from nowhere to function as a most capable experienced fair manager. She was capable and energetic and without her, we could not have done it.
b. Stu Grant who was related to the Native American community was extremely helpful and energetic to bring that culture into the fair family.
c. Jesse Thomas, a Senior Auditor with the Clark County Business License Department related most closely to the black community and was most helpful to integrate that community into the fair concept.
d. Chris Karamanos owner of “The Caterers” was kind enough to allow us to use an office in the Thunderbird Hotel for our fair office without cost. We appreciated all he did beyond even that generous assistance.
e. Mark Aston, County Treasurer handled financial matters and ticket sales.
f. Dave Cook as the manager of the carnival was of the highest integrity having been at one time the Director of Consumer Affairs for Nevada who had a world of experience traveling all over the West providing entertainment for county fairs and related events. His input was most valuable and his friendship encouraging.
To continue reading about the history of the Clark County Fair as according to David Crosby in 1988, please see part 3 of this series of articles.
MEMORIES OF THE 1988 CLARK COUNTY FAIR: FAIR HELD AT THE NEW MOAPA VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Part 1)
MEMORIES OF THE 1988 CLARK COUNTY FAIR: FAIR HELD AT THE NEW MOAPA VALLEY FAIRGROUNDS (Part 3)
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