County fair helps keep fire station operational - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

County fair helps keep fire station operational

PULASKI COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

The Pulaski County Fair is in full swing, but what does the fair mean to the community?

This is the 56th year for the Pulaski County Fair. What once was a street celebration in its early years has now grown into a full fledged fun fest for the county and surrounding counties.

The money made off of this event goes back into the community in a couple of different ways.

Whether you are buying food or buying tickets for the attractions, money is divided to go back into the community, to the fairgrounds and the Pulaski Fire Department.

From the money raised at this fair, 56 years ago, the fire department was established.

"Two local churches came together and wanted a community project," Fair Board President Bob Thurston said. "They decided the community project would be to purchase a fire department for the community."

For 56 years now, money spent buying food at the cook shack at the fair goes to help out the Pulaski Fire Department. The fire department is then able to buy more equipment and help keep it running, which then helps out the community.

"We get grants, but a lot of those are matching funds. So if you don't have those funds, you don't get the equipment," said Thurston. "The fire department wouldn't be much at all if you didn't have this [fair]."

The fair has also had a recent money hiccup, which they were able to overcome.

"We have been getting a little state aid from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, but the way the budgets are right now, there's no money to be had," said Thurston.

They now solely rely on volunteers from the community and sponsors to help keep the fair running smoothly.

Thurston said that the community has stepped up and hasn't seen a decline of people coming out to the fair this year.

He said when it comes to the fair, it's something that people have enjoyed for years and will return to to keep building memories. Something this community is thankful for.

"It gives the community at least one event a year to come out. They remember coming out as a child and they like to relive those moments," said Thurston.

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