Group to work out aspects of Carson-hosted state fair

A group delving into feasibility of a Carson City-based state fair formed sub-groups Wednesday on key issues and set a goal of reporting to the Board of Supervisors in October.

Marena Works, deputy city manager and chair of the ad hoc citizens group, tasked her colleagues to meet in sub-groups and return to forge a report in a Sept. 18 meeting so supervisors can tackle the question early the following month. Among those on hand was Senior Judge Robey Willis, who is pushing the idea. He likes the Fuji Park Fairgrounds.

“I think we’re in a better location,” said Willis at the meeting in the Fairgrounds-Fuji Park exhibit hall across from Costco. He was comparing that location for a fair to the place where the state fair used to be in Reno. The fair there is defunct.

Willis also suggested the first year’s fair, which he and others say could be next year, should be called the Nevada Fair rather than the state fair as details are being ironed out. The group voiced hopes it could become a growing event.

Also on hand was Assemblyman Pete Livermore of the 40th district in Carson City, a former city supervisor, who told Robey he would sponsor legislation or a proclamation if it is necessary in the state Legislature.

Livermore also said the exhibit hall in which the group was meeting was the first structure put up in Carson City with Question 18 funding. Question 18 is the quality-of-life program established by the vote of citizens in the 1990s.

Various others representing the public and private sectors attended, but missing was Joel Dunn, executive director of the Carson City Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Works said she had expected Dunn because of his interest in Fuji Park/Fairground events, but proceeded without his input to oversee a wide-ranging discussion and set the agenda going forward into October. She also said the bureau might be set up to handle funds and other roles if the community proceeds with the idea.

The four sub-groups were formed on a volunteer basis and are interest-based. The units cover agricultural aspects, evening entertainment, carnival and outreach. That latter category would cover such things as the outreach to the community, sponsorships and vendors.

“I think if we get good vendors, that would be really important,” said Works.

She and others seemed to agree during discussion that funding will be difficult and that the Fuji Park/Fairgrounds complex would require well planned logistics for a growing fair.

“I think, honestly, we would use every inch of these grounds,” said Works.


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