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Fair Week Exhibitor Information

How can I help? Volunteers Needed In River Rock Barn

GCFFY is looking for help in the River Rock Barn.  Volunteer shifts are short and the jobs are fun and simple yet go a long way to helping make the River Rock Barn run smoothly.  We are asking YOU to sign up today  by contacting the GCFFY Fair Office at lfowler@gcffy.org or 989-466-5071.

Do I need to complete a Market Livestock Financial Sheet?

If you are selling a Market Beef, Feeder, Sheep or Swine project you MUST complete a Market Livestock Financial Sheet.  This is a one-page report asking for you to put down your expenses and determine if you would have made a profit selling by selling at market price.  This is not a replacement for a record book which are not required but encouraged. Exhibitors who fail to turn this form into their species superintendent by 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 5 will see a $25 penalty deducted from their sale check.  This form is available by clicking here.

What is the deal with the market hog weights?

Gratiot County Fair for Youth CHANGED the rates of market swine projects for 2017.  ALL Market Pigs must weigh between 220 lbs. and 320 lbs. (at weigh-in) in order to show in market class and SELL in the sale.  If a pig does not fit within 220 and 320 lbs. the animal can stay but will only show in showmanship.  All swine exhibitors signed they understand this on their market swine form which they turned in on or before May 15.

Will the new campsites be ready for fair?

Yes!!!  The electrical permit was issued yesterday and campsites are now able to be claimed for the fair.  Campsites are sold to families on the waiting list and families at the top of the waiting list have already been notified that a campsite may be availble.  Camping rates are $150 for the week of fair.  If you want a campsite for a future fair, please email the fair office at info@gcffy.org with your contact information to be added to our master campsite waiting list.  

When can we bring in cattle chutes & canopies?

GCFFY has instituted a policy to not allow outdoor cattle chutes to be set up prior to FRIDAY, JULY 28.  This is new this year and is in response to the challenge these chutes make to getting our lawn mowed and presentable for the week of fair.  Indoor chutes are at the discretion of your your species superintendent.  Space is provided on a first come, first served basis.

What is up with GCFFY parking this year?

As was done the last couple years, fair visitors will enter the fairgrounds starting the Monday of fair week (July 31) through a gate immediately east of the Alma Armory. GCFFY will close the entrances on Alger Road (or Lincoln Ave) and will not open during the week of the fair.  All visitors will need to use the new entrance which will be off of Hawthorn Road just beyond the Armory.  GCFFY will have signs helping to direct traffic to new parking areas.

Entering off of Hawthorn Street, visitors will gain access to the large parking area south of the main Alma Armory but still on the Armory property.  Parking attendants will be available at the gates to direct traffic into parking areas.  GCFFY will install temporary fencing along the fair perimeter.  This fencing will direct fair visitors away from camping areas and encourage them to enter near the fairgrounds next to the bathhouse.  

Visitors who are camping with us, have special needs such as vendors who need to bring in supplies or visitors with handicapped permits will follow the road through the parking area to another gate which will permit vehicle access to the general fairgrounds.  The fair will be looking more closely this year at these special permits.  Campers will only be allowed to park at their campsite and have been issued window sticker permits (stop by the fair office to pick up your campsite packet).

As always weekly vehicle admission (parking) permits are available for $15 at the gate or for $12 through Sunday, July 31 from the fair office.  Daily vehicle admission (parking) rates will be $5.

Are carnival wristbands really ONLY $10 if purchased on or before July 29?

YES! Maple Leaf Amusements is allowing us to sell ride tickets for ride wristbands good for one day of unlimited rides for one person.  Wrist Bands are available for a special low rate of $10 each from the GCFFY Fair Office.  Hurry because this special rate ends on Saturday, July 30.

Where do I get my Exhibit Tags?

GCFFY mailed or delivered your exhibit tags to your club’s administrative leader.  Along with exhibit tags, leaders have been provided a sheet to give to each exhibitor who has signed up with GCFFY which shows their contact information and lists the classes the fair has in their computer.  When reviewing your exhibitor data sheet, notify GCFFY if you find errors in your contact information.  The fair’s database will use this information exactly as it is printed on your sheet in their sale programs and checks (think address).  If there are errors, contact Lance Fowler in the GCFFY office at lfowler@gcffy.org or call him at 989-875-5292.  If you are signed up for the wrong class or if you need to change a class, do NOT call the fair office. Instead please make the change yourself by downloading blank exhibitor tags at http://www.gcffy.org/parts/blank_entry_tags.pdf and filling in the information yourself.  This will allow fair staff to make last minute arrangements to assure you have an outstanding fair.

Where can I find a schedule for exhibitors?

In the public, GCFFY publicizes a schedule for fair visitors.  GCFFY has an exhibitor schedule and you should refer to this as much as possible to ensure you are in the right place at the right time.  The schedule is printed in the front of your GCFFY Fair Book.  A current copy can also be found by clicking here.

In the exhibitor schedule you will find:

Are There Any Changes to the Exhibitor Schedule?

Yes.  The fair is changing the Still Exhibit Awards Program to the GCFFY Awards Program.  The time will remain at 11:00 a.m. in the Covered Arena.  All (non-horse) GCFFY trophies and awards will be presented at this event and pictures will be taken of all exhibitors in the project area immediately after the presentation.  Be sure to come and cheer on all our fair exhibitors getting awards.

Why don’t I have Exhibit Tags for all my entries?

GCFFY creates exhibit tags for exhibits which are to be displayed in the Still Exhibit Barn.  For this reason our database creates exhibit tags only for still exhibit projects.  This year we are not printing tags for our record books as the information should be listed on the record book's cover.  Animal project entry tags will be given to animal superintendents who will provide them as they see fit.  Some areas do not receive exhibit tags.

How do my Still Exhibit projects get judged?

IMG_2631Exhibit judging will be Saturday, July 29 in the Covered Arena from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Inside the arena, you will find large, easy to find signs for each of the project departments.  Find the department your project falls under and take your project to be judged to that area.  All Cloverbud still exhibit projects will be judged from the Cloverbud department which is located by the large east door of the arena.  This year there will be additional help in the food area to help speed up judging but GCFFY encourages you to come early to beat the crowds that gather towards the end of the fair.

Parking is available on the east side of the covered arena and the gate on Hillcrest Road just east of the Covered Arena will be open during the judging times.  The main entrance for judging will be the east entrance of the covered arena.

After your projects are judged, please take your projects to the Still Exhibit Barn to be displayed.  There will be no charge for parking on Saturday (or Sunday) of the fair and you can drive and park near the Still Exhibit Barns. Cloverbud projects will be dropped off inside the Merchant's Building and all projects will be in the Still Exhibit Building. Inside the barns there will be many friendly volunteers who will help you find the right project area to deliver your project to be displayed.

As a parent how do I help my child during Still Exhibit Judging?

Parents are an integral part of the fair.  Experience has shown, however, during judging our exhibitors are more comfortable talking openly with the judge when the parents step away.  This interaction between the exhibitor and judge is an important lesson for the exhibitor and helps develop their communication skills.  GCFFY expects exhibitors to take their projects to judges themselves.  Some exhibitors will come with many projects and as a parent you are more than able to help your exhibitor hold projects and help keep your child organized.  When your exhibitor is getting judged, however, you are encouraged to watch from the bleachers and take pictures.  Exhibitors with a large project are welcome to ask the judge to come to the parking area to evaluate their project. 

Where can we park while our exhibits are judged?

The gate on Hillcrest Road which runs the north side of the Fairgrounds will be open just east of the Covered Arena.   GCFFY encourages you to take your exhibits back to your club display as soon as judging is done.  If an exhibit is held back please stop by at 12:30 p.m. to make sure your exhibit gets brought back to your club’s display.  Feel free to park in this area while your projects are being judged.  The dog show will be using this area so please make sure you move your car out of this parking area no later than 1:00 p.m.  There will not be parking charges on this Saturday.  After your projects are judged, you can drive them right to your exhibit barn if you are extra cautious watching for people.  At this point, Cloverbud projects will be dropped off in the Merchant's Building and all other project areas will be set up in the Still Exhibit Barn.

How do I sign up for the Still Exhibit Auction?

All exhibitors who will be participating in the Still Exhibit Auction must register their project between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on SATURDAY, JULY 29 on the raised platform along the north bleachers in the Covered Arena.  Shanna Acker has volunteered to enter your auction entry in the covered arena.  It may be useful if you bring a slip of paper with your auction item description already printed out to give to the volunteer.  If you are not registered by 11:30 a.m., there will be a $25.00 fee to get registered for the auction and you may be added at the end.   Remember, only one item may be sold at the auction.  If you exhibit a blanket and a picture, you must choose one to be auctioned off.  With that said, if your auction item is a pie and you want to sell your pie with ice cream and inside a basket, it is acceptable as the project coordinates with the additions.

What condition should my animals be before I ship them to the fairgrounds?

Before loading livestock for the fair, please take some time to clean the animals and pay particular attention to getting the ear tags clean and readable.  This helps to ensure check-in and weigh-ins go much smoother.

How can I participate in the fair’s Exhibitor Dance?

On Friday, August 4 around 9:00 p.m., the fair will host our annual Exhibitor Dance.  This event is only for exhibitors and one guest.  Parent volunteers – however – are encouraged to come as well to help chaperone.  Exhibitors must register at the registration table at the dance.  All exhibitors who have turned in a fair entry form or a horse exhibitor entry form will be on a list and may receive a wrist band for themselves and a guest.  Pizza and refreshments will be served.

Will bedding be available on the fairgrounds?

Yes!  Seville Superstars 4-H Club will be selling bagged shavings on our grounds this year for $6 per bag.  You are not required to use this club's shavings.  You are, however, required and expected to keep your animal’s pen clean.  

When and where do we turn in our large animal record books?

Large animal record books must be turned in between 3:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Sunday, July 30 at the northwest corner of the Covered Arena.  After fair books are judged, they will be returned to your club display in the exhibit buildings.  Small Animal record books are turned into the superintendents.

Where do we pick up our large animal record books?

Market Beef, Feeder Beef, Sheep and Swine record books will be placed in the Still Exhibit barn after they are judged and recorded (look for them beginning on Wednesday evening).  It is the exhibitor's responsibility to pick up the books after fair.

When can we start setting up our pens?

GCFFY is asking superintendents to have stall, pen and club display assignments posted by Wednesday, July 26 and will ask you to wait until then to start setting up your displays and decorations.  

Clubs can help set up their assigned sections of the Still Exhibit Barn area as well on that Wednesday.  Information has been sent to all club leaders sharing with them how they can be included in the Still Exhibit Barn with a handcrafted banner and how they can help with a project area.

What are the upcoming fair office hours?

During the fair the office will have the following hours:

Where do you have young kids go if they are lost?

vanderbeek_bldgriver_rock_barnGCFFY wants to be a safe place for our young people.  With that said it is a good idea for parents to have a plan with young kids who visit the fair and make sure the child knows where to go in the event they become separated before they come to the fair. One idea is to have youth exhibitors go to the Vanderbeek Fair Office or the River Rock Barn.  The fair office is the only green and white building and the River Rock Barn is the only red building. Once there the youngster will be made comfortable and we will make every effort to reunite them to you quickly.  

What about fair parking & parking pass sales?

The fair will begin charging for parking on Monday, July 31.  The fair encourages you to purchase your weekly parking passes in advance.  The weekly pass will cost $12.00 in advance and is now available in the fair office. They will be offered at presale prices through the Still Exhibit Auction on Sunday, July 30.  Daily parking passes will be available at the gate for $5.00.  Parking should be at your campsite as your camping rules states or in designated parking areas. 

Families camping with GCFFY have two special weekly parking permits available in their camping packet to be picked up in the fair office.  This corresponds to the campsite rules of no more than two vehicles per campsite.  These permits will not be replaced as they provide access to the campgrounds.  If you have more vehicles staying on the fairgrounds, the extra vehicles can park in the general parking area.

Feeding Areas and ORVs

Trucks and cars are not permitted in the animal exhibit areas.  GCFFY requires you to find other ways to transport your feed, bedding and tack to your animal area.  Parking attendants will be given instructions not to allow unregistered vehicles in the exposition areas.  People who park vehicles in blocked off areas may have their vehicles towed. ORVs may be registered if you follow the official ORV rules listed on the registration form (http://www.gcffy.org/parts/off_road_vehicle_registration.pdf), provide a proof-of-insurance as requested on the form, and pay the fee (which is $25 until Wednesday, July 26 and $30 after that date).  There is trailer parking on the corner of Lincoln Ave. & Hillcrest St. which is near the livestock barns and near the South Horse Barn.  These can be excellent places to store livestock feed, wheelbarrows and tack.

When can we check out our livestock and animal exhibits?

This past spring our fair leadership with leaders from both the small animal and large animal committee discussed animal dismissal.  A change to the release time was issued for non-market & CLOVERBUD Beef, Dairy, Feeder Beef, Goats, Sheep & Swine animals.  Non-market animals will be released during buyer pick-up which is on Saturday, August 5 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This includes all non-market livestock such as breeding stock and Cloverbud projects.  If you have questions, please consult your species superintendent(s).

Saturday is a very congested day at the fairgrounds.  GCFFY is expecting a big crowd all day for the Rodeo and will ask your help in making sure they provide a safe environment for our visitors.  For the safety of you and our visitors do not remove your livestock (not listed above) nor any gates, cattle chutes, pens, etc. until Sunday, August 6.

Your project animals (other than animal buyers and those species listed above who may take their purchases home Saturday from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.) should not leave the grounds until 6:00 a.m. when they are released.  This does not include animals who have been sold.  Check with your superintendent for this time.  As a reminder, your market animal changes ownership once the gavel falls.  Be sure to feed and take care of your animals for your buyer, and exhibitors are encouraged to be ready to part with their animal early on Saturday.

Again, to alleviate congestion, do not take your projects (not listed above) out before Sunday Morning (August 6).  This includes any cattle chutes and tents you may have set up between the beef, swine and dairy barns.  Still exhibits should be picked up between 6:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 6. The Still Exhibit Barn will be locked at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 5.

When can I pick up my still exhibit projects?

The Still Exhibit Barns will be open on Sunday, August 6 for project pick-up between 6:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.  If you cannot get your own project, please make arrangements for someone else to pick them up.  The fair is not responsible for left-over projects.  If a buyer purchased one of your still exhibit projects and you leave it at the fairgrounds during the week, you are to pick it up and make sure it is delivered to your buyer.  

Fair Clean-Up

clean_up4-H Club Leaders and FFA Chapter Advisors have been sent a list of things their group is responsible for before and after fair.  This will help us get our fairgrounds ready for the fair and put back to normal after the event.  Check with your club leader prior to fair clean up for information before you head out to a fair clean up event.  Fair Clean-Ups will be scheduled for:

Sunday, July 23 (after 6:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, July 26 (after 5:30 p.m.)
Sunday, August 6 (all morning)

A huge thank you to all of you for helping make our fair a great community event.

How are large animal skillathon contests scored?

GCFFY superintendents will score six areas in beef, feeder beef, sheep and swine skillathon contests.  The exhibitor’s scores in the top five areas will be tallied together (the sixth being dropped) and the exhibitor with the highest score will be declared the winner.  The six areas scored are: market/breed class placing, showmanship placing, record book, written test, lab practical test, and livestock judging contest.  If you are doing skillathon, you are encouraged to sign up for the Livestock Judging Contest.

How do we find out who won skillathon?

Skillathon winners will be posted in the Still Exhibit Barn.  If you finish first or second in your skillathon area you must complete a thank you card as with any trophy and turn it in at the fair office.  Prizes will be awarded at the Still Exhibit Awards Program on Saturday, August 5 at 11:00 a.m.

What do we do with our left over pop cans?

The Gratiot County 4-H Exchange Club will be conducting a pop can drive at this year’s fair. In the past, the club has had bins set up around the fairgrounds for you to use at your own leisure. However, the club is not doing that this year and instead will have members coming around Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. and Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for personal can collection. If you will not be at your campsite during these times but would still like to help the 4-H Exchange Club out, please feel free to label your cans and leave them outside your camper. "Any help we can get in raising money is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!," states Exchange 4-H Club Member Makaila Pray. Funds raised by the 4-H Exchange Club help to link up Gratiot County 4-H members with 4-H'ers from a county in a different state and includes travel to the other state one year and hosting these exhibitors the following year.    

Where can I find a good deal on a great breakfast?

pancake_breakfastGratiot County 4-H Leaders’ Council invites you to start your day at the fair with the Friends of 4-H BREAKFAST in the River Rock Barn.  Hours are Mon-Fri – 7:30-9:30 a.m. and Sat – 8-10 a.m.  The cost is $4 per person or $20 punch cards available (1 free meal).  Breakfast is All you can eat!   Pancakes & Sausage are served Monday, Wednesday and Friday and French Toast & Sausage will be served on Tuesday and Thursday.  Saturday the council will be using up supplies.  EVERYONE IS WELCOME!  Watch for a chance to win a free breakfast!