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Big fair Saturday, rainy Sunday


September 12, 2019

A steady rain Sunday took a toll on the Palouse Empire Fair and shut down harvest in many areas for the second time in four days. The NRCS rain tally Monday morning was at .2 for precipitation logged Sunday and early that morning.

LaCrosse weather observer Jeremiah Broeckel in his weekly report to the Gazette logged four tenths of an inch of rain for Sunday. The reading was twice the amount logged at the NRCS station at Colfax for the Sunday rain storm which put the brakes on harvest crews with crops still to cut and the last-day attendance for the Palouse Empire Fair.

Tom Reidner of Pacific Northwest Farmers, estimates about 90 percent of the wheat and barley crop has been harvested in the county, but most of the garbanzo fields still remain to be cut.

The rain hit at Mockonoma after the fair booked a giant day Saturday. Fair attendance picked up steam Saturday night when WSU fans checked out the show after the game in Pullman.

The fair’s new grandstand, designed to hold more than 2,400 people, appeared to be full almost to capacity for the Saturday night rodeo, and many stayed for the concert by The Hankers which immediately followed the show.

Bill Tensfeld, executive director, noted long-time board members commented Saturday in their memory might have been an all-time record. Part of the unofficial estimates stems from the parking space which was consumed before the start of the rodeo event Saturday night.

Sunday’s rain took a toll big toll on admission at the gate where the fair had hoped to pick up another big crowd for the rodeo and more WSU fans and students who might have showed up for the second day of a big weekend.

“It’s just something you can’t do anything about,” Tensfeld commented.

Palouse Empire Rodeo officials and the Pro West wranglers Sunday wrapped up the three-day run of the event in the arena.


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