Vendors at the fair bring attention to local businesses

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  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN One thing fairgoers may have noticed was a large house like structure parked by the fence.

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    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The Italian sausage booth, run by Gail Rush and her partner Paul Tompkin.

  • Photo by MANDI BATEMAN One thing fairgoers may have noticed was a large house like structure parked by the fence.

  • 1

    Photo by MANDI BATEMAN The Italian sausage booth, run by Gail Rush and her partner Paul Tompkin.

BONNERS FERRY — The Boundary County Fair may seem like a small event to those used to fairs in more largely-populated areas, but it is a big deal to local businesses, 4-H, FFA, and other members of the community.

There were booths throughout the fairgrounds, including food options, local businesses and local groups.

One thing fairgoers may have noticed was a large, house-like structure parked by the fence. Champion Home Builders, who brought their Park Model RV, is a business that builds mobile structures as well as permanent homes. They brought this model to the fair for people to view, showcasing a main living area of 399 square feet plus a loft and covered porch.

“There was better turnout than I thought, at least given my perception of the size of the fair,” said Business Development Manager Chuck Bleth. “It seems like a small place that has had very good activity.”

Due to the interest in their business, the team plans to come back to the fair next year.

Mark Carey, owner and broker of Shelman Realty, said about Park Model RV, “We sponsored them so people could view them and have a little fun at the fair.”

Another vendor that attended was Carter Country Farm & Feed.

“We were mainly there as a convenience for the 4-H and FFA kids,” said owner Charlie Carter. “We had all of their feed there and certain supplies that they may need, so that when a kid goes up to mom and says, ‘Mom, I left it at home,’ they don’t have to run all the way back home, or ‘I ran out of this,’ they don’t have to go all the way into town.”

They also had free pet food samples and coupons for people who visited and didn’t have a fair entry. Carter Country also gives a 10 percent discount to all 4-H and FFA kids for their project needs. They always purchase a market animal as well, this year being a pig named Batman.

One of the food vendors there was the Italian Sausage booth, run by Gail Rush and her partner Paul Tompkin.

“I’ve never seen so many people here,” said Rush, who has been attending the fair for about 25 years. “There wasn’t so much food back then.”

When asked why he likes coming to the fair here, Tompkins said, “The people. We give all the officers and firemen, free sandwiches for what they do for us. We honor the veterans as well.”

About 20 years ago, a man came down to the fair and pointed out his house on the hill to Rush. He told her that he could smell their food all the way up at his house and he had to come down, which showcases not only how far the fair food smell spreads, but also how good the Italian sausages are.

With these vendors hardly scratching the surface of all that attended, next year’s fair is sure to bring in more vendors both new and existing for fairgoers to stop by and see what they have to offer for the 100-year anniversary.

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