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Brown County Fair Camping Sites Full

August 17, 2010, 9:59 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Brown County Fair Camping Sites Full
ABERDEEN, SD - Camping out at the Brown County Fair is very popular. In fact, hundreds of people who want to spend a week camping at the fair won't be able to.

As people come and go from the fair, 428 full camping sites surround them.

"We have over 250 on a camper waiting list so that number could stretch to 700, 800 without a lot of issues," fair manager Larry Gerlach said.

But the issue preventing that expansion is money.  The county doesn't have any to build more sites. It added 20 this year thanks to donations. If people gave $950 to construct a site, they can camp on it free during fair week the next three years.

Stephanie Schentzel and her family took advantage of the chance.

"We consider ourselves fortunate because we had the opportunity to do this," Schentzel said.

It's a more expensive option. During fair week, people generally pay $135 for a site with water, sewer and electricity. But the Schentzels had been on a waiting list for at least three or four years and are happy to finally be off of it.

"I wish there would be something that could be done collaboratively to provide more camping spots for more families such as us," Schentzel said.

The fair board is looking at the possibility of adding 20 more sites just east of the ones added this year and paying for the expansion the same way.

"We have some people calling, wanting to know what it's going to cost and be contacted when it comes out and actually that list is growing rapidly," Gerlach said.

Beyond that, the board has plans for further campsite expansions but those would take a lot more money.

The fair manager says one barrier with money is being granted public funds for something that's very much in demand but for only one week of the year.

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