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Dana Cain's top ten things needed for a successful county fair

Dana Cain
Dana Cain
Photo: Anthony Camera

Dana Cain's Ten Things You Need to Do to Put on a Denver County Fair

Dana Cain believes a couple of things about event planning. First, and this is crucial, one must be prepared. Second, one must buoy the audience with hoopla throughout the event. Never forget a detail, and never let them down.

Here are ten other things needed to put on the Denver County Fair, a truly unprecedented, groundbreaking event with a Dana Cain spin:

10} Run the whole thing like a well-oiled machine. When 50,000 people turn up at the door, everybody has to get in, and everyone should be happy and comfortable and having a good time. "Then I can be calm, collected and professional," Cain says.

9} A sideshow. "I put a lot of time and attention into hav ing a really classy sideshow," Dana says. "That harks back to my days with the Twilight Zone fest. I LOVE weird shit. It never got weird enough for me."

8} Add in a few crazy things that people won't expect: the 4-H kids have rockets and robots, and there will be a holistic tent. Always surprise them.

7} Have animals and all the other things that people expect at any other county fair: pies, produce, crafts and so on.

6} Bring in food that will appeal both to sophisticated foodies looking for natural, organic and sustainable meals and to the people looking for the newest mutations on deep-fried Twinkies. Have it all, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

5} Come up with a unique brand and hook that will differentiate you from other county fairs and make yours special.

4} Hire a carnival company, then let them handle that part of it on their own.

3} Line up enough staff to have all the big bases covered. Work harmoniously.

2} Research county fair history and traditional county fair structure requirements, plan for competitions and include tie-ins with the Colorado State Fair. If people like this fair, maybe they'll want to go down to Pueblo in August.

1} A gimungous venue. Denver weather in the summertime can do anything. At the National Western, 300,000 square feet of indoor venue space will be divided into themed pavilions.