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Add your slice of the pie to the Denver County Fair's new online "fair-raiser"

How much does it cost to put on a county fair? According to Tracy Weil of the Denver County Fair, about $200,000 -- and the DCF isn't funded in any way by the county, unlike most traditional fairs. Of course, that's also what helps sets the DCF apart from all the other fairs: Weil and fair director Dana Cain, left to their own creative devices, designed a uniquely urban event that went far beyond the usual bucolic displays, country music shows and tractor pulls.

See also: - Five prizeworthy parts of the 2012 Denver County Fair - Ten new reasons to buy your ticket to the Denver County Fair now - Was the Denver County Fair a success? Dana Cain weighs in

But they've also learned that this model has more than a few growing pains, and they find themselves needing to raise funds in order to carry on in 2013. "We think we put on a fantastic event," says Weil. "The response we've gotten has been fantastic. But our numbers were down this year, and we need to raise some money, so I decided to try this little fair-raiser to see what we could do."

Weil's referring to the fair's brand new Fundly campaign, which debuted online yesterday. Fair-lovers, grateful ribbon-winners and friends are all invited to visit the website and leave a donation of any size toward the DCF's $25,000 goal, which the organizers hope to reach in two months' time. Incentives are offered, beginning with two free fair tickets in 2013 for a $25 donation and rising in value incrementally beyond that. Weil says the fair is also in the process of applying for a grant from the Denver Office of Economic Development to get a head start on next year's event.

"Dana and I don't have buckets of money, but we do have a passion for the community and this event," he insists. "And we get no funding from the city and county, so it's really going to be up to the people of Denver if they want to continue to have a Denver County Fair. We're into it; we're excited to be able to do it. Dana and I have worked hard to put this thing on -- we put own money into it -- and we're doing it out of our our love for the city. We're definitely continuing with it, but we need some help."

Short memory? Here's a taste of this year's fair:

All things considered, they're not asking so much. Following, see the fair's plea -- and its perks, as offered through Fundly.

Denver County Fair! Love Train!

Do you LOVE the Denver County Fair?

We need your help to put on the 3rd Annual 2013 Denver County Fair! 

The Denver County Fair receives no funding from the government or the City and County. This grass roots effort is organized by two Denver residents and a small staff who LOVE our city and want to CELEBRATE its creativity and culture! The fair hosts over 25 non-profits including providing an outlet for Denver's 4H program. The fair also provides a setting for citizens of Colorado to show off their best and participate for the coveted blue ribbon! A full 95% of our vendors and exhibitors are local small businesses. This year we hosted 275 events on 14 stages and handed out more than 200 blue ribbons!

The Denver County Fair is all about local! The event supports the educational celebration of local food, local sustainability, local community work, local jobs, local production and local creativity!

But we can't do it alone! The Denver County Fair costs more than $200,000 to put on! Every donation helps us a LOT! So please, give what you can, and show some Denver County Fair LOVE! Donors will be recognized at the 2013 Denver County Fair next August on our donor wall.

The Denver County Fair, LLC is a local small business. Your contribution will be used to help put on the 2013 Denver County Fair, but is not tax deductible. As a thank you for your contribution we will provide you with the following perks at the 2013 Denver County Fair based on your donation level. Thank you for your contribution!

LEVELS: $25 Donation receives (2) Free Adult Admissions to the 2013 Denver County Fair! $50 Donation receives the above plus (1) Free 2012 Denver County Fair Poster! $100 Donation receives a Family 4-Pak 3-day pass (also good for 4 adults) to the 2013 Denver County Fair! $250 Donation receives a Family 4-Pak 3-day pass (also good for 4 adults)  and free admission to our Denver County Fair Workshops on various subjects from bee keeping to canning & knitting. $500 Donation receives all of the above and VIP Seating at select 2013 Special Events. $1000 Donation receives all of the above and VIP Parking and guided tour of the Fair by one of its founders! $2500 Donation receives all of the above and a special Denver County Fair VIP food and wine tasting invitation. 

Our Mission: Denver County Fair is an annual event which encourages Denver citizens to bring out their best. The Denver County Fair is a place to share ideas, traditions, creativity, local culture and innovation. The Fair highlights the talents, trends, diversity and interests of the residents of our amazing City and County. The Denver County Fair celebrates Denver's unique character and reflects it back to the community in a spirit of celebration and healthy competitive fun. Please contact the Denver County Fair office with questions. [email protected]

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd