MITCHELL — When you’re driving through Mitchell, you’ll probably notice a lot of decorated hay bales. They’re part of the fun in promoting the upcoming Scotts Bluff County Fair.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years,” said Fair Manager Lanna Hubbard. “The state fair has a hay bale competition every year, so I decided we should do one here.”
Hubbard first contacted fair sponsors to see if they’d like to get involved in decorating hay bales. Then the idea spread onto social media for anyone to participate.
“Our local Pinnacle Bank was the first in a number of businesses that jumped on board,” she said. “I’m hoping it gets bigger and bigger each year so all the towns in the county can participate.”
So far, Marker Ag in Scottsbluff has made an entry, actually a lick tub, which is in keeping with their line of work in ag products. The Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau and Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering are currently putting together an entry.
Brenda Leisy, director of the Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau, said they got involved following a tourism board meeting.
“Lanna Hubbard is one of our board members,” Leisy said. “After a meeting, she told us about the project and encouraged us to decorate a hay bale.”
The theme of the tourism bureau and Legacy of the Plains Museum entry is “Happy Campers Attend the Scotts Bluff County Fair.” Leisy said they wanted to promote camping and tourism in the area.
The rest of the hay bale artworks are in Mitchell, from the veterinary clinic to Pinnacle Bank to the elementary school to the county fairgrounds. Some of the groups and businesses getting involved were Mitchell Organized Baseball, Simplot, Mitchell Care Center, Mitchell Valley Animal Clinic, Pinnacle Bank, the high school’s Tiger Committed Group, The Bunkhouse, Kelley Bean, Mitchell Public Library and more.
“I’ve had some more calls from people, but I’m running out of…