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GOOD NEWS FOR UTAH STATE FAIR: DIVISION OF EXPOSITIONS IS $5,000 IN THE BLACK

SHARE GOOD NEWS FOR UTAH STATE FAIR: DIVISION OF EXPOSITIONS IS $5,000 IN THE BLACK

It appears the Utah Division of Expositions, which includes the Utah State Fair, will be about $5,000 in the black for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

That would be a boon to the state division because the fair is "not meant to earn money for the state. If it is a wash, we feel it has been a good year," division director Jackie Nokes said Monday.Final figures will not be in until about Aug. 30, but the State Fair Board, which met Friday in Salt Lake City, was elated with the news.

"We are thrilled about the financial information and with how the fair is operating. The fair is really taking off. It is a place where everyone can be a somebody without being well-known," said Cleo R. Atkin, St. George, board vice chairwoman.

By state law, funds collected over expenditures by this particular division may be carried over into the next fiscal year under action by legislators to give fair officials an incentive to make the fair self-supporting.

Last January some members of the State Fair Board expressed concern with a report that showed the 1989 fair had a 19.5 percent increase in paid admissions, yet lost more than $127,000. Nokes said there was a good explanation for the figures. She said taxpayers could be assured the fair was doing well and not costing more than it should.

"It (the report) looks awful. But by the end of the fiscal year and at this very minute we are operating in the black. We have accomplished a lot, but it costs a lot to clean up and beautify the Fairpark so people want to come to the fair," Nokes said last January.

Nokes predicted that when the fiscal year ended the division's revenue and expenditure figures would balance out. That has been true.

Nokes said Monday that revenue from interim rentals for the past fiscal year total $344,351. That reflects rental fees on 30 buildings over 64 acres. Donna Dahl, assistant fair director, oversees interim rentals.

Nokes commended Heagren, Dahl and other members of the 16-person division staff for their efforts to make the fair self-supporting. Heagren said about 87 percent of the division operations this past year was self-supporting, with 13 percent of the total division budget of $2.1 million coming from general appropriations.

Nokes announced that the 1990 fair-premium book will probably be available by the end of next week. Among other things, the book tells people how they may participate in the fair. A $1 donation is suggested for the premium book, but that is not required.

Those interested may write the division or stop in and pick up a book at 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116.

"Get That Good Fair Feeling" is the theme for the 1990 fair, which will run from Sept. 6-16.

A theme has also been selected for each day of the fair, with "We the People" and "Politicians" day scheduled for Friday, Sept. 7. A hot-air balloon contest is among events tied in for visits by public officials. Politicians won't be giving talks but participating in all kinds of fun activities, Nokes said.

Entertainers signed for the fair and their performance dates: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Sept. 6; Chris Hillman and the Deseret Rose Band, Sept. 7; Bellamy Brothers, Sept. 8; Gary Morris, Sept. 9; Highway 101, Sept. 10; Dan Seals, Sept. 11; Billy Joe Royal, Sept. 12; ABC Show, (Saturday morning cartoon characters) Sept. 13; Gatlin Brothers, Sept. 14; Holly Dunn, Sept. 15; and Restless Heart, Sept. 16.