Association wants you fired up about Kingman fairgrounds

Association seeking public's input on best event ideas for fairgrounds

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->The Off Road Arizona Short Course Championship Series, held in June last year, is one of many events held at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

JC AMBERLYN/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->The Off Road Arizona Short Course Championship Series, held in June last year, is one of many events held at the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

KINGMAN - The Mohave County Fair Association is looking to reignite the public's interest in the fairgrounds by offering a Kindle Fire to the person who comes up with the best event idea for the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

The Kindle Fire is Amazon.com's latest e-book reader. The seven-inch tablet has a touch screen color display that allows the owner to read books, magazines, documents, email and newspapers, stream movies and TV shows from the Internet, surf the web, and run apps such as Angry Birds from Amazon's store.

The MCFA will give one Kindle Fire to the resident who comes up with the best idea for an event to be held at the fairgrounds. To enter the contest, residents can send an email with their full name, phone number and their event ideas to ideas@mcfafairgrounds.org or call the MCFA's Ideas hotline at (928) 351-7386 and leave a message, said Toni Marie-Swats, the MCFA's new sales and marketing representative. Any idea is welcome, whether it's music, horse riding, bull riding, roping, motor sports, expos, fundraisers, kids events, inside or outside, anything goes, as long as it meets the zoning requirements of the city, she said.

Residents are welcome to submit as many ideas as they want in their email or voicemail message, but only one email or voicemail message per person will be accepted, she said. The winner will be announced at the first day of the Home and Garden Show, which is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 20-21 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 22.

The Kindle contest is just one way the MCFA's new board of directors is hoping to drum up new ideas for events, activities and improvements to the fairgrounds, Marie-Swats said.

Two local teens, Meghan and Paul Yingling, have already come up with one new event idea sure to draw the younger crowd to the fairgrounds, a paintball war the MCFA plans to hold sometime in June.

The MCFA is also hoping to get an organization that raises funds for wounded veterans to come to the fairgrounds in July.

The MCFA is also looking for new vendors, volunteers and ideas for entertainers for its regular events, such as the Home and Garden Expo, Marie-Swats said. This year's expo features Dave Owens, the Garden Guy and Terri Ouellette, better known as Terri O of Terri O Super Simple Crafts.

The expo will also host a chili cook-off sponsored by Cliff Findlay Auto Center on April 21. The entry fee is $25 per team and includes a first prize of $500.

For more information on the chili cook-off, call Susan at (928) 715-6598. For more information on the Home and Garden Expo or any fairground event, call (928) 753-2636.

The MCFA also has plans to allow the installation of a more permanent short-course track toward the north end of the fairgrounds for motocross, truck, bike and car events, she said.

The track is an attempt to accommodate the many motor sports organizations that have used the fairgrounds for events in the last few years, she said. Previously, each event organizer had to build their own dirt track and then tear it down after the event was finished, which cost a lot of money and time.

Event organizers were also not allowed to move the fairground's rodeo arena, which made it difficult for the audience sitting in the grandstands to see the action, Marie-Swats said.

The size and shape of the grandstands, which were designed for horseracing, also made it hard to see the action and were often not large enough to hold the crowds of people who showed up to view the events, she said.

Providing a more permanent location for the events, where a dirt track can be built, left and adjusted to the needs of the different motor sports organizers, is just one way to bring new events to the grounds and accommodate the needs of both the motor sports and the rodeo fans, Marie-Swats said.

The Board has also spoken with the Kingman Police Department about the noise factor related to past motor sports events and are working on some solutions.

The MCFA also plans to bring back the Education Fair, she said. It's also made improvements to the MCFA's website and is pursuing grants to help pay for repairs at the facility.

Marie-Swats encourages anyone who is interested in volunteering at the fairgrounds or just interesting in becoming involved to become a member of the MCFA.

It costs about $10 a year and members receive two tickets to the Mohave County Fair and a free parking pass.