The Vermilion County Fair & Expo
Vermilion County Speedway Update from the Vermilion County Fair & Expo President, Rick White:
I have seen my name mentioned several times in regards to the Vermilion County Racetrack. It is always appropriate to get both sides of the story before speculations and rumors start.
First of all, I have served on the Vermilion County Fair Board for over 40 years. In that time frame, I have worked with many race and fair promoters. I would rate Bryan and Brad as being among the best promoters running the race track. Brad’s wife, Janet, has also done an excellent job running the restaurant.
Here are some of the cold hard facts of this situation. We leased the track for $500 per race and the restaurant for $100 per race. They had 5 races this past season totaling an income of $3,000 from the promoters. In addition, we have the sale of beer at these events. The beer sales fell way short of what their beer distributor wanted. Here are some of the Vermilion County Fair’s expenses associated with the race track: the electric meter for the main grounds, any electrical usage west of the race track, the water bill for the race track, restaurant, restrooms, etc., the nine acres that is the pit area is rented by the fair board for $3,000, the maintaining of the grass area, the liquor license to sell the beer, and the insurance to have these races. With those expenses the Vermilion County Fair did not show any profit, only a loss. The fair board and the race track committee worked together and made many repairs for the 2014 fair. Many of these repairs consisted of donated time and materials from both the fair board and the race track committee.
The race contract for the 2015 asked for $900 per event. This is not double; this is considered $800 for races and $100 included in for the restaurant. There was no counter-offer from Middlefork Motor Sports.
I have seen the race track net an income of $22,000 per race season. Those days are not only behind Vermilion County Speedway, but many other tracks as well as the business climate changed. In Vermilion County, the track and the fair began a downhill slide. It was not caused by any one person or group decisions. We have all worked very hard to turn the fair around through business and personal donations. I personally feel our fair has improved every year, and this shows through our attendance.
Our first obligation is to the fair and that is the reason for many our decisions. What most of you do not know is that the State of Illinois donated the land for the fair which includes the race track. If the fair ever ceases, this land must go back to the State of Illinois. There has been no talk of closing the Vermilion County Speedway. It is not closed and we are currently in talks with a promoter. As far as accusing people of having their hand in the till, we have an auditor every year. Every member that is currently on this board has given back 100% to the fair. We stay on this board to give back to the community and to see kids in this area have something positive to attend.
If you have any questions or comments, I would appreciate those sent to me personally.
Rick White - President of the Vermilion County Fair & Expo.
We promote 4-H in our county fair!
Join 4-H and experience the fun at the Vermilion County Fair & Expo this coming year! Click here or on the clover for more information about 4-H. If you would like to join a group or get involved, you can also contact Kristen Block, the 4-H Coordinator of Vermilion County.
Kristin Block - Vermilion County 4-H Coordinator
At: (217) 442-8615
These businesses from our area have went above and beyond to support our fair.
These other businesses also helped make our fair possible, and without their help, we would never be able to do it year after year.