Arkansas Fair
Managers Association
2020 AFMA President
Barbie Washburn

Are you as tired of being at home as I am…………In just a couple of months it will be
Convention time!  We are super excited about this years convention and following all guidelines
to keep everyone safe from covid.  This years theme is Legends of Country Music.
We are doing things “a little different” to follow guidelines but we will still have lots of information
for you and a good time.

The biggest change in the weekend is we are ending the convention immediately after the
General Business Session on Saturday.  There will not be a banquet this year.  We will add the
Banquet after the Covid 19 is over and things return to normal, (Whenever that will be).

All awards and voting will be done at the General Business Session on Saturday.  Thus, allowing
everyone to get home on Saturday.

We are also making some changes in the hospitality area, but the committee will fill you in
on those changes.

We have lots of games and activities planned, so I guarantee you will enjoy the weekend!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call.  I know and understand this has been
a crazy year for all of us.  I have enjoyed representing you as your 2020 AFMA President.

Don’t forget the convention dates are January 14-16, 2020.

Nominations Committee
Phyllis Young, Lacie Beason, Debbie Wells

The AFMA Board will have two positions to fill at the 2021 AFMA Convention.  Barbie
Washburn and Phyllis Young will be leaving the Board.  One candidate was submitted
prior to the October 2020 due date.  Nominations from the floor will be requested during the
Opening Session.  NOW IS THE TIME to look to your fair board for potential candidates for the
AFMA Board.  The only requirement is that the “candidate is an active voting member of his/her
fair board and maintain this status during the term or terms of the candidate”.  Each
Candidate must have a signed letter from her/his fair board and a brief resume would be helpful.
Please contact any committee member for more information.

Phyllis Young, Chairman 501-733-4519
Lacie Beason     501-258-2142
Debbie Wells     501-844-7036

Hospitality Committee
Jennifer Barrett

The hospitality room at the convention will be a little different his year.  If we all work together, we
can make this a wonderful event of fun, food, and fellowship.  We will not be able to serve meal
type foods, only snack foods.  All drinks will have to be in single serve bottles or cans.
Bottled water, juice, and tea will all be greatly appreciated.  Canned sodas are also good.  We
not have  two liter drinks or coffee as multiple  people would be touching those items.  Each room
has a coffee maker with coffee pods available for your personal use.  The only food items that
can be served are pre-wrapped individual snacks, (Little Debbie cakes, small bags of chips,
candy small bags of cookies, individual bags of pretzels, peanut butter crackers, etc.)

We encourage individual fairs to continue in decorating the tables in the hospitality room.  The
area becomes very festive as each fair shares their creativity using our theme for the year,
Legends of Country Music.  Plan to use the hospitality room in the best way we can

Entertainment Committee
Jennifer Barrett

Our entertainment this year will be different than originally planned.  On Thursday evening at the
Early Bird Reception, you will be provided with a meal.  No dancing will be allowed at this
time unless restrictions are lifted by the Governor.  But do not fear, entertainment will be
provided!!!!  There will be a presentation of “AFMA at the Grand Ole Opry” followed by games
and karaoke.

Friday night will still have the Carnival Night, with a time change.  Activities will begin at 6:00p.m.
continuing until 7:30 p.m.  The Scholarship Auction will be from 7:30 p.m. until
9:00 p.m.   We will be having AFMA Got Talent.  If you have a great talent that you would like
to present, please sign-up on the registration form.  We will take the first 10-15 entries.  This will
be followed by karaoke and games.  Come prepared to have a great time!!

Seminar Committee
Jennifer Barrett

The AFMA Board has worked very hard to find answers to some of the “burning questions” we all
have after enduring such a strange year.  We will offer a variety of seminars on Friday morning
and Friday afternoon.  There will be one large seminar on Saturday morning.  Please
plan to come with ideas and questions.  We are all in this together and will work to find answers.

The Arlington has assisted with providing meeting rooms which can be opened up to allow more
social distancing, signage and sanitation stations.  We are very appreciative.
Come prepared to share and learn what other fairs did to “think out of the box” during the 2020
fair season.

Bingo and 50/50 Committee
Georgia Ratliff

We will have BINGO on Friday afternoon from 2:30 to 3:30 in the Crystal Ballroom.  We will
be limited to approximately 150 people due to the social distancing and space for tables.  Come
prepared to have fun and laugher as prizes are given out to all game winners.  Best of all it is

Everyone wants to be a winner, regardless of the competition.  50/50 is no different.  We will
once again offer three chances to be a winner.  Game one will be during the Early Bird
Reception, game two during the Opening Session and game three at the last meeting of the
convention, General Business Session. Don’t forget to get your tickets.  Hope to see you in Hot

The 2021 AFMA Convention will be held January 14-16, 2021 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot

We were all touched by the troubling events taking place this year.  The resulting disruptions to
our fairs, businesses, and families have created numerous challenges for us to overcome.  Only
a handful of fairs have been held this summer, with costly adjustments to their operations.  
Therefore, it appears that for most of our industry, the current trend will continue until the fear of
COVID-19 subsides.

We cannot forget the fairs that did the math to socially distance, figure out capacity, wrote
detailed plans hoping to open only to have Health Departments or politicians or state officials
turn down their requests.  Heartbreaking for all concerned!!

This is why it is so important to have our 2021 AFMA Convention.  We must meet and discuss
new plans for fairs in the future.  We must not forget our AFMA purpose to promote and support
Arkansas fairs, to provide AFMA members with beneficial information, and to hold an annual
educationally-oriented convention and special meetings.

The fairs have suffered that is true, but what about our Associate Members?  At this time we
must all come together to work together to save our fair industry.   We cannot get stuck sitting on
the “fence of yesterday” watching and waiting.  With a perspective on the past, it’s time to shift
our focus forward.

We encourage all county, district, and state fairs to send delegates to the AFMA Convention.
Be sure your first time delegates attend the First Timers meeting on Friday morning at 8:30.
Our committees have worked diligently in order to have a successful convention.  Sure the
numbers will be down, but it will be up to YOU to continue the legacy of the fair industry.

For the fairs who were able to have a fair in 2020, we want you to share what you did.  
Participate in the Display of Fairs.  If ever we needed new ideas, it is now.

The only thing that will be omitted from the convention will be the annual awards banquet.
Due to current restrictions it is not possible to have the banquet.  Awards will still be presented,
but during our General Business Session on Saturday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Registration for the convention is $25 per delegate, $10 for youth under eighteen years of age.
On your registration form there will be a late fee of $35 if paid after December 15, 2020.
For those delegates who will only be coming in on Saturday for the General Session, there will be
a $20 charge per delegate.

We don’t want to forget about our Scholarship program.  We will continue to have the silent
auctions on Friday and Saturday in the tradeshow area.  Friday night at approximately 7:30 we
will have our Live Scholarship Auction.  We want to “thank you” in advance for your continued
support.  We currently give ten (10) scholarships to youth in the fair industry.  This would not be
possible without your donations of money and of time.  Please encourage your graduating
seniors to fill out an application prior to the deadline March 15, 2021.  We will accept one
application per county.

In conclusion, we ask that each of you make yourself aware of bill HR7883.  This bill, if passed,
will create funds for Agricultural Fairs across the nation.  A call or letter to your Representatives
urging them to put their support for this really makes a difference.  To read more about the bill,
visit the IAFE web-site.  Fairs across America will be affected.

Watch the AFMA web-site for more details on the convention:


1.         Make hotel reservations directly with the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spas.  Each
County/Individual is responsible for making room reservations directly with the Arlington.
The Arlington needs a name for each room.  Contact the Arlington Hotel directly at
(501) 623-7771.
     2.   Return completed Convention Registration form to AFMA.

**********Name badges and mask will be required for each activity**********

Dues Must be paid before convention packets can be pickup up.

You are invited to attend a meeting with the
On Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the Arlington Hotel.
This is your opportunity to ask questions on county, district, or state fairs.

AFMA Purpose
To promote and support Arkansas fairs, to provide
AFMA members with beneficial information, and to hold an
Annual educationally oriented convention and special meetings.
10757 State Hwy 54 E
Star City, AR    71667