MENLO - Fair Manager Dotsi Graves and Fair Board President Mary Jane Doubek offered our readers a first-hand, behind the scenes look on everything you might want to know about what it takes to assemble the Fair together, what vendors will be there, and of course, all the details about food. Graves and Doubek are two of the driving forces of the Fair.
Doubek has been the Fair Board president for two years and a Fair Board member for four years. She is also a retired teacher and insurance underwriter.
"I absolutely love this Fair," said Doubek, a graduate of Sweet Home High School in Oregon. "And when I retired, I was looking for something to volunteer for and this Fair was my first choice."
"Mary is involved with all aspects of the Fair, from organizing the Commercial Building to set up and tear down of the Fair." Graves said. "This Fair would truly not run without her energy and knowledge."
Graves has at least a decade of Fair experience and has worked for Pacific County the past 15 years and has worked in many aspects of the County system.
"I grew up in Olympia (and) I had a lot of family in Bay Center and spent every summer there. I moved down here the summer I graduated...and never went back. I have been here ever since," Graves said.
Graves, a graduate of Olympia HS, is in charge of getting all the vendor's and concessionaires lined up, along with getting entertainment at the Fair. She worked on the Oyster Stampede Committee many years ago and more recently was the Labor Day Chairperson. "I was taught well by Evelyn Olson!" (Wilson, who was an icon in South Bend, passed away recently.)
Graves oversees a huge network of people that produce the final product of the Fair.
"It all comes together from a lot of different people doing a lot of different jobs and putting in a lot of time and energy," Graves said. "For our Fair Board and Staff, it's a year-round job of promoting ourselves. For our volunteers, it is a labor of love and the pride that they can bring all of the work together for everyone to enjoy.
"We want everyone to enjoy themselves and to be excited about coming back each year...or even the next day," Graves said. "If they are having fun, we are having fun. That's really our main goal in everything we do."
"Our plan of action is simple...we do the best we can to make sure everyone who walks through our gates enjoys themselves," Graves said. " If it looks seamless and well-run while you are here, then we have accomplished our goal."
Graves said that it is the community that makes the Fair what it is.
"Our community really steps up and supports the Pacific County Fair," Graves said. "Each year they man their booths for all four days of the Fair. Without our local support, and of course, those who are not local, this Fair would not be the success it is.
"It really is a group effort to make this Fair the success that it is each year," Graves said. "This is only my second year as Fair Manager, but every year things change. Some good, some you wish could have always stayed the same! But one thing that never changes, is how the community we live in steps up and helps us be successful. Whether it's our businesses advertising in the Premium Book, selling our buttons and wristband coupons in their store... answering my two million questions... or the people who live and work in our community who spend their hard earned money to buy all our buttons, bring their items to enter in the Fair, walk through our gates, ride all the rides or just stop us on the street and tell us how much they love what we are doing...they never cease to amaze me and make me happy to live where I do. Because, if they didn't support us and buy in to what we are trying to accomplish, it wouldn't be what it is."
Graves, who, along with her husband, Todd, have three children, Taylor, Tristan and Jack. They live in Lebam.
"We also have to be thankful for the family members that we have," Graves said. They support us and let us be our crazy selves, especially in August, right up to and past the Fair."
Eclectic Food to be Devoured
"We pride ourselves on making sure we have a good variety of food at the Fair, and bring back the things that were well received in the past," Graves said.
"Tradition is a huge part of the Pacific County Fair; we are trying to preserve that, along with bringing something new in to compliment it.
This year's Fair has 17 food vendors, which is only one short of the capacity of 18. The cost of a booth rental is $150 and then at the end of the Fair they pay 10% of their gross sales.
"There is room for 18, so we would only have room for one more vendor and this vendor would have to be someone with their own set up," Graves said. "Our buildings are full, so it would be an outside vendor."
The food booths, which have very reasonable prices, will be open from 10 am to 9 pm. This year's Fair food includes:
Wide Variety of Vendors Offered
"Every year brings new vendors, but it also brings back those who join us each year," Graves said. "The vendors in the Commercial Building vary. We have groups auctioning some things, we have a local author selling and promoting her book, we have different businesses promoting their businesses and supporting our fair.
Below are many of the vendors and sponsors that will be at the 2015 Pacific County Fair.
Dennis Company, HAVA, PUD, Reach One, Chinook Indian Nation, Willapa Harbor Hospital, Long Beach Visitor's Bureau, Pacific Conservation District, Pacific County Historical Society and Museum, Ken Hurley, Pepsi, Painting Cute, Debra Wilson Insurance (Farmers), Pacific County Democrats, Pacific County Republicans, EDC and Willapa Harbor Chamber of Commerce, ORCAA, Grays Harbor College, Crisis Support, Costco, Shoalwater Bay Casino, Willapa Harbor Helping Hands, Willapa Harbor Ministries, Mission Creek School.
In the Ag Building will be the Granges, Bee Keepers, the Edible Garden group. And, the 4-H and FFA kids will be present.
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