Cantaloupe festival, fair merge |

Cantaloupe festival, fair merge

Christine Kuklica
The Cantaloupe Festival and Country Fair will merge into one event, which will be held duringLabor Day weekend.

After seven years of working as two separate organizations, the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival and the Churchill Country Fair will become one again.

The two summer events ended their partnerships because of disagreements between the two boards. The newly formed event will be held on Labor Day weekend and will take the best from each festival and combined activities, attractions and events for all ages. In addition to the fair, the Lions Junior Rodeo is also held that weekend, and the Lion Labor Day Parade will still snake through Fallon on Monday, the fourth day of the festival.

Rick Lattin, a member of the Cantaloupe Festival, said the new Labor Day event will be stepping away from the negative past that it had and will bring positive activities to ensure the community supports it.

“Both of these events are planned around agriculture and celebrating the history that it has provided for the development of our county,” Lattin said.

He said when the Cantaloupe Festival received its grant funding from the Churchill County Commission, attached to it was a note from the commissioners asking for the two boards to resolve differences to become one again.

“So that’s what we did,” said Rachel Dahl, co-chair. “We had a meeting and hashed everything out and decided it would benefit both of the events and the community if we came back together as one event. As of Oct. 29 we have joined forces.”

Both events have struggled over the years and more so this year with several out-of-area events planned for the same weekend.

Sue Frey, co-chair of the Country Fair, said since the split seven years ago, she has heard community members ask on several occasions why the two haven’t come back together.

“We heard the cry from the community, and we’re resolving everything,” Frey said. “It makes sense to have one big event to draw the crowd. We’re going to make sure that the event stays focused around agriculture and family fun and friendliness. We want the parents and kids to come out and enjoy this and make memories as a family.”

Lattin said they want to be known as the main event to go to in Churchill County. He said it’s important to the board to make sure the activities represent what makes Churchill County and said they want to bring in former events that haven’t been used in awhile to revamp the festival and make it fun like old times.

Frey said with the Churchill Country Fair now on Labor Day, she hopes to open opportunities for more children who are involved in 4-H and FFA to participate in events in the fair.

“Maybe we’ll be able to get more volunteers to help out too,” Frey said.

Frey said their plan is to add new games and activities to the existing ones as well as invite non-profit organizations to put up booths during the four days. She said they also plan to use more local vendors and entertainment.

“We want to showcase the talent we have in Churchill County at the festival,” Frey said.

As for the Fallon Ranch Hand Rodeo, it will still be on the first weekend in August.

Dahl said that it is important to have the community involved and said they would love to hear from residents with suggestions of activities, games or any idea that they had for it. She said people could call with ideas to CEDA at 775-423-8587 or Sue Frey at 775-427-1055.