Fair attendance to top 25,000 for 4-day run By Sally Ousley Gazette Reporter Record sales and increased attendance plus favorable weather added up to “Endless Summer Nights” at the Palouse Empire Fair. Although the weather was cool on Wednesday, Sept. 3, by Thursday, skies had cleared and temperatures warmed. “We’ll bust 25,000 (attendance) by all financial indications,” Palouse Empire Fair Manager Bob Reynolds said Tuesday morning. Reynolds said Saturday’s attendance was the “largest crowd we’ve had in the last seven years.” Reynolds also noted that every vendor had record sales during the fair. “It was the ‘Perfect Storm’,” Reynolds said. Palouse candidate Elizabeth Akin was crowned Miss Palouse Empire Fair in the fair queen’s competition Friday night. Erica Eng of Colfax and Victoria Waltz of Pullman were named princesses. Sydney Farnsworth of Garfield was named Palouse Empire Rodeo Queen on Sunday during the rodeo. She is a junior at Pullman High School. Reynolds noted that carnival receipts are the highest the fair has ever had, and that there was more ice cream sold than ever before. Reynolds also said one food stand, Steptoe Firemen, ran out of food Saturday and had to restock for the final day. Greg Hall, one of the volunteers at the Steptoe Firemen booth, said they ran out of hamburgers and french fries about 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. They initially purchased their normal inventory for the four-day run of the fair, almost 3,000 pounds of burgers and almost 900 pounds of fries. Hall said they cleaned out Rosauers in Colfax and had to travel to Pullman to purchase more meat for Sunday’s opening. When the Steptoe booth opened at 11 a.m. Sunday, they only had enough burgers for two hours. After the burgers sold out, Hall said they sold out the rest of their inventory such as pie and pop. Hall said he thought the gross sales were strong, and he anticipates solid earnings after all the bills are received and paid. County Agent Janet Schmidt said it was exciting to have the Eric and Shannon Appel family named as the first Fair Family this year. Schmidt also said the livestock sale went well, and that this is the first year goats were allowed to be sold at the market. “The goats sold well and we had a nice representation of meat goats,” she said. Six goats were sold at the auction According to Schmidt, the FFA Grand Champion goat sold for $10 per pound and the 4H Grand Champion goat sold for $12 per pound. Sales for the other animals totaled 92 sheep, 133 hogs and 58 steers. The numbers of animals sold were close to the same as last year. “We have great support from the community, buyers and families for the sale and we appreciate it very much,” Schmidt said. Schmidt said in other categories at the fair, food entries and digital photography entries increased, but she believes sewing and baked entries decreased this year. “We appreciate all the volunteers and staff who put in lots and lots of hours,” she said. “We live in a great place and thanks to everyone we’re able to put on a wonderful fair.”
By Garth Meyer Gazette Reporter Milt Priggee was a suburban Chicago kid who liked to draw. Then something arose in him in November 1963. Printed full-page on the back of the Chicago Sun-Times was a cartoon by Bill Mauldin. In it, a depiction of the stone figure of Lincoln’s memorial in Washington, D.C., hung his head low in the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination. “I get goosebumps thinking about it now,” said Priggee, a freelance political cartoonist and former Spokesman-Review cartoonist from 1987-2000. “Words inform. Pictures move.” He will appear at the United Methodist Church Thursday, Sept. 18, as part of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau in partnership with local libraries. Priggee now lives in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island and wakes at 4 a.m. each weekday to turn out cartoons for syndication around the country along with ones for Washington state. Three years after seeing that cartoon on the back of the Chicago Sun-Times, Priggee’s eighth-grade English teacher suggested he draw cartoons for the school newspaper. He was a paperboy then and before rolling up the day’s edition and putting rubberbands on them, he would open the top paper and check the cartoons. “I loved to see people’s eyes light up when they saw my cartoons,” he said. “The more I did it, the better I got. The better I got, the more I did it.” The son of an art director for famed advertising agency Leo Burnett, Milt got a degree in fine art from Adams State College in Colorado. Then he set to work on his goal to have his own comic strip. But it was hard. “I’d always worked for the school paper and dealt with issues,” he said. “Yet with a comic strip, what you’re doing is a book. You’re writing a novel.” Meanwhile, he was paying more attention to political matters in the Vietnam era. “The job of the political cartoonist is to provoke,” Priggee said. “Debate is democracy. My cartoon is how I feel on the issue. You’re a writer, but you write with pictures.” Eventually, he got his start, a job with the Dayton Journal-Herald in Ohio. After it folded, he started a job with the former Spokane Chronicle, which later was absorbed into the Spokesman-Review. After he worked there 13 years, he was turned loose and since then has been a syndicated cartoonist. Today he produces five in-state cartoons per week as well as four national, which get picked up by various papers around the country. A day for Priggee starts before dawn as he skims over various newspapers online. Once he has an idea, he does an initial sketch, then scans it into the computer and finishes it in Photoshop with a Watcom tablet and stencil. Before the online era, Priggee would often have two cartoons going at once, waiting for White-Out or ink to dry on one while he worked on another. Of the thousands of cartoons he has published many have never run. “The freedom of the press belongs to those who own one,” Priggee said. “The editor makes the decision to publish or not.” Appearing in Colfax at the United Methodist Church, Priggee will talk about the history of political cartooning, show some prominent current cartoons and take questions. “This is an opportunity to ask that question you always wondered about such and such cartoon,” he said. He will appear in Colfax at noon Sept. 18, sponsored by the Whitman County Library and Colfax Rotary. Guests may call ahead to pre-order a catered lunch for $10 at (509) 338-3252. He will speak later that day in Pullman at the Neill Public Library at 5:30 p.m.
“Human Foosball” will be the headlining event at Palouse Days 2014, joining perennial favorites for Saturday’s annual street fair. “Human Foosball” will pitt teams of six against each other – hands secure on poles as they play a live version of the table soccer game. The event is a benefit for Viking Club, a group that supports Garfield—Palouse sports. “It’s gonna be a fun thing to play and a fun thing to watch,” said Janet Barstow, a volunteer with Palouse Chamber of Commerce. Other Palouse Days events include Hoopapalousa, a three-on-three basketball tournament for elementary school boys and girls, the third annual Heidi Keen Barley Bar Relay, and a fun run/walk of 1k, 5k and 10k. The parade, ping pong ball drop, duck race, egg toss and 32nd annual Palouse Show and Shine car show will also be back for 2014. Grand Marshal Alan Flansburg will lead the parade. “Very, very grand,” said Barstow. “Mr. Swell Person.” The day will begin with the Lions Club pancake breakfast at the Block Building from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. while the car show opens at 9 a.m. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. as the Xenodican Club hosts a bake sale in front of the Palouse Library. Following the parade will be the crowning of the new Palouse royalty. The beer garden opens at 11 a.m., running until 10 p.m. Live music starts at 3 p.m., including the Paradons and The Intentions. “Human Foosball” begins at noon in the downtown area. A total of five teams of six so far are registered (high school age and up) for the new game. Volunteers built a 16 by 32-foot enclosed “field,” outfitted with PVC pipe over rope which players must hold on to, using their feet to try to kick a Nerf soccer ball into the team’s goal. Each team is guaranteed two 10-minute games. T-shirts will be awarded to the winners. “We welcome late registration that day,” said volunteer Angie Griner. “So come play foosball.” Food options at Palouse Days will include the Lions Club hamburger trailer serving “in two locations,” with one window opening to the street, and the other to the beer garden. There will also be roasted corn on the cob and pulled pork sandwiches from Will Hume’s Palouse Caboose and a Main Street bake sale put on by the Palouse Grange. “We’re really excited to have some new events,” said Barstow. “We hope everyone comes out to enjoy them.” To register for Palouse Days activities, go to VisitPalouse.com or just arrive on Saturday.