ESSEX JUNCTION – The 83rd annual Champlain Valley Fair had one its best seasons ever with 299,168 people – about 1,500 more than 2003 – coming through the gates during the annual 10-day fair, held Aug. 28 to Sept. 6. The slight increase in attendance was due, in part, to enjoying one of the Vermont summers longest stretches of sunny weather during the final week of the fair. From an informal survey of license plates on the grounds, visitors from 41 states and several Canadian provinces attended the fair. From the standpoint of operations and quality, this was an outstanding fair, said David F. Grimm, general manager of the Exposition. We had excellent diversity in our grandstand which accounted for a 15% improvement over 2003. We received many positive comments about the cleanliness of our grounds, the variety of entertainment and the improvements we added this year. The Fair hosted two sell-out concerts for country music superstars Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith. The Fair opened with the good vibes of The Beach Boys. Other concerts included local jam bands Strangefolk and The Samples; a rocking Friday night concert with ZZ Top and nostalgic 35th anniversary tour concert by classic rock band, Yes on the second Saturday night. The remainder of the midweek grandstand shows included a freestyle motorcycle thrill show, Figure 8 Racing, a Demolition Derby and NTPA Grand National Tractor and Truck Pull on Labor Day.The Reithoffers Midway featured 35 rides and many special ride and admission discounts over the 10 days.Free daily entertainment included a live bear show, butter sculpture, an aerial thrill show, a juggling family, hypnotist, caricature artist, racing pigs, petting zoo, musicians and an authentic cowboy chuck wagon. Some $75,000 in competition premiums and prize money was awarded during the fair. Significant increases in entries to the art and photography department were realized, including a Best of Show landscape oil painting which carried a record-setting price tag of $12,000. A heavyweight pumpkin record was set at 1,042-pound pumpkin (previous record: 1,036 pounds in 2003) and it was one of the big surprises in the agricultural area considering the wet summer in the region. More than 150 people, including Vt. Gov. James Douglas, were on hand to honor the 2004 inductees into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame at the Champlain Valley Exposition in a ceremony held during the Fair.International Association of Fairs and Expositions popular summer Read and Win program was offered locally to area youngsters, grades K 5 in five counties. Approximately 1,000 completed the assignment of reading three books over the summer and received free admission to the fair on Aug. 30. Significant improvements were made to the fairgrounds and facilities over the summer for this years fair including the addition of $350,000 three-lane paved road connecting Route 15 and Route 2 to Exposition parking areas; a complete renovation of the Ware Building, including heating and air conditioning for the exhibit hall; and general fix-up and repainting of buildings and landscaping. The 2005 Champlain Valley Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27 to Monday, Sept. 5. Photos from the 2004 Champlain Valley Fair are posted in day-by-day photo albums at www.cvfair.com(link is external), which also include information about the Expositions year-round calendar of events.
16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Competition for credit union members is heating up—and it is no longer just coming from other financial institutions.In recent years, new and innovative players have entered the financial services realm, and they’re looking to grab pieces of your business, John Best, president of Best Innovation Group, told CUNA Tech/OpSS Council Conference attendees Monday.Best defined this trend as “death by 6,000 cuts.” This refers to the six thousand financial technology startup companies that are each targeting one small piece of traditional financial institutions’ business model.These companies include such diverse offerings as CoinStar (coin exchange), Acorn (which rounds up customer’s purchases and puts the excess into investment accounts), and Kabbage (an online lender to small businesses).What traditional lenders will be left with, Best says, is members’ transactional business while new, innovative players siphon off the more profitable pieces of the traditional banking business. continue reading »