With the 60th annual Yuma County Fair just around the corner, there’s one burning question: Will the ever-popular cinnamon roll lady be there?
“Of course,” answered Eric Wofford, manager of the Yuma County Fairgrounds. “We couldn’t have a fair without her.”
Or to be more accurate, her son, who recently took over the business, Old West Cinnamon Rolls, that has been a longtime staple of the fair.
Every year, people que up in long lines for their annual fix of the addictive treat.
And even though Tom “Huf” Hofstedt retired a couple of years ago after drawing caricatures of fairgoers for 25 years, his replacement will be back again this year. He even does the drawings with color if people want.
Those are but two of the businesses and organizations that will be holding court during the fair April 3-8.
Wofford said there will be 64 booths in the Commercial Building, 20 in the Theater Building, eight in the food court on the grounds and another 40 to 50 booths scattered around the grounds offering apparel to spray art, jewelry to wood carvings and a wide range of other products.
And there’s a waiting list, with Wofford continuing to receive phone calls as the fair rapidly approaches from other businesses that want to be there.
He said with an estimated attendance of 171,000 during the six days, that’s a lot of foot traffic.
“It’s good exposure for the businesses and nonprofits,” he said.
Many of them follow the fair circuit and will be heading to Yuma from the California Midwinter Fair that just ended; others will come from the La Paz County Fair or Pinal County.
There’s no question, Wofford said, that the Yuma County Fair is a favorite among the commercial vendors.
“A lot of the vendors we’ve built a great relationship with,” he said.
Along with several who come every year, there are always some new ones in the mix, too, he noted. For example, one new vendor will be selling framed 3-D pictures.
He’s encouraged that more and more local businesses see the fair as an opportunity to reach out to new customers and gain some exposure.
Not all the vendors will be trying to sell something, though, Wofford said, with several of the booths manned by nonprofit organizations and such agencies as Arizona Game and Fish, Bureau of Land Management. And the Rod and Gun Club will be back again this year.
For them, the fair is an opportunity to hand out literature, interact with the public and raise awareness about who they are and what they offer, he said.
Whether business or nonprofit, the commercial booths add another element to the offerings at the fair along with livestock shows, entertainment and the carnival.
“It’s an important part of the fair,” he said, and one he believes adds to the enjoyment of fairgoers.
Not only that, the booths are a key source of revenue for the fair, Wofford said. Fees for the six days range from $350 for an information booth to $400 for a commercial booth and $350 and up for fairgrounds space depending on the amount of room they want.
That revenue keeps down the cost of admission to the fair, provides for free parking and helps pay for the free entertainment, Wofford said.
“It’s good for everybody.”
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.