New leadership at helm when 164th Bureau County Fair kicks off Aug. 21
The 164th Bureau County Fair, which will take place Aug. 21-25 at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton, is under new leadership this year. The following is an Illinois Valley Living magazine interview with Kyle Burrows, the new fair board president.
Q. When were you elected Bureau County Fair Board president?
A. November 2018.
Q. Why did you choose to become fair board president?
A. I ran for fair board president because I felt I could assist leading the fair to combine tradition with new events and community partnerships to ensure the ongoing success of the Bureau County Fair.
Q. What are the duties of the fair board president?
A. The president organizes and runs monthly board meetings and the annual meeting, appoints board members to committee assignments, serves as chair of the executive committee and manages day-to-day operations of the organization.
Q. How long have you been active with the Bureau County Fair Board, and what roles have you fulfilled over the years?
A. I have been active with the Bureau County Fair for 10 years. I have served as a volunteer, vice president and president.
Q. What inspired you to first get involved with the fair?
A. I became involved with the Bureau County Fair as a high school student completing community service hours as a requirement for graduation. After learning more about the fair, I have remained actively involved for 10 years.
Q. What's your favorite memory of the Bureau County Fair?
A. My favorite memory of the Bureau County Fair is getting engaged to my wife during the Martin Family Circus/Oak Ridge Boys concert in 2017.
Q. What sets the Bureau County Fair apart from other area county fairs?
A. What sets the Bureau County Fair apart is the utilization of our facilities year-round. The fairgrounds hosts numerous events such as flea markets, weddings, auctions, corporate meetings/dinners, etc.
Q. What sort of challenges does the Bureau County Fair face, and how is the board tackling those challenges?
A. The Bureau County Fair is challenged with youth involvement, decreasing state funding and aging facilities. To overcome the challenges, we have established a Junior Fair Board, and created a partnership with Second Story Teen Center. We have also established the Bureau County Fair Foundation. We have had numerous construction/ maintenance projects, including several new buildings on the fairgrounds. We also have an active building and grounds committee.
Q. How has the Bureau County Fair changed over the years?
A. The Bureau County Fair began in 1855 and has 164 years of rich history. There have been many changes to the fair overall through the history. Today, the fair focuses on balancing tradition with new events and attractions to meet the needs of all fairgoers.
Q. Why is the Bureau County Fair so important to our area?
A. The Bureau County Fair has been an entertainment venue, focused on agriculture for families and fairgoers to make memories for 164 years. The fair continues to provide family-friendly entertainment and agricultural education, and supports our local community each year.