Fair Board agrees to run Dayton Days

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DAYTON -- For 2011, the Columbia County Fair Board will manage Dayton Days Memorial Day weekend, Fair Manager Shane Laib said.

The board at its Monday meeting decided to offer to run the event this year. Because there will be no parimutuel horse racing, the event will consist of the rodeo, a parade and entertainment, Laib said.

Dayton Days, along with Waitsburg's Days of Real Sport and Walla Walla's Fair and Frontier Days fell under the hooves of the state Racing Commission's funding shortfall, and were not granted any days for parimutuel racing this year.

However, "Dayton Days will be back in full force in 2012 with horse racing," Laib said.

Fair board and Dayton Days members plan to meet Monday to begin planning, Laib said.

State budget cuts have also taken out a chunk of funding for county fairs. Some funding has been restored "but we're not out of the woods." Fairs have no funding from the state in sight for the next biennium, he said.

The Columbia County Fair will hold a kickoff event March 26 at the fair pavilion, with a silent auction, live auction, hors d'oeuvres and desserts.

The fair theme, logo, entertainment, arena events and 2011 fair hostesses will be announced, Laib said.

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