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Fair appeals to younger audience with Facebook page

:Pierce County Information Services Director Janet Huppert brought up the Pierce County Fair's new Facebook page on the computer in her office. The page will provide users with immediate feedback about changes or cancellations during the fair.

The Pierce County Fair already has a presence on the internet, but has now gone where younger web users frequently go.

The fair's new Facebook page offers an alternative to its web site, available for the last 12 years, according to County Information Services Director Janet Huppert. That site contains a directory of personnel and general information, plus links to the web offerings of fair staples such as the tractor pull and truck pull.

"It's more in-depth," Huppert said about the fair's original representation on the internet, noting users can link to it from the new Facebook page.

Unlike with the Facebook presence, changes made to the web site are done by Huppert's office, she said. In contrast, the Facebook page contents are handled by fair personnel, usually Katelyn Hartung, their intern this year.

Its recent rollout featured photos from past fairs and a listing of the various attractions, the IS director said. Fair Director Ann Webb plans to use it for various purposes.

"During the fair, if something is cancelled, it can be posted here and Facebook users will know it immediately," Huppert said while showing the new option.

Besides the information page, there's a fan page, she said. With the click of a button, users can indicate whether they "like" it and, if so, will get more access. Should this be the case, their friends on Facebook can look at the page, too.

"It's updated automatically," she said, reminding those with smart phones also have access.

A lead-up to the fair--supercross or motocross--is being promoted on the new page, Huppert said. It's ideal for dispensing information of wide interest, like parking arrangements, or giving deadlines for 4-H entries, for example.

Anyone with a computer and internet capability can open a Facebook account for free, she said. Once they have a personal page, they're able to type in "Pierce County Fair and Fairgrounds (WI)" on a search bar to get to the fair's page.

"Everybody under age 25 lives on this," she said about Facebook, acknowledging there is a minimum age requirement.

Huppert said programming the fair's Facebook page wasn't difficult. Computer experience in general is helpful, so it was mainly a matter of filling out a couple of screens behind the ones on display to accomplish it. She estimated it took a couple of hours.

"You do have to understand some of the ramifications," she said, referring to county guidelines on safety checks, for instance.

In addition to the fair, the Pierce County Public Health Department already has a Facebook page, as does the Pierce County Veterans Services office. A couple of other county departments have shown interest in having one, she said.

A page was recently added to the county's web site listing all of the county Facebook pages and people can look at them without having an account, Huppert said, explaining this can be seen by going to and scrolling down the left side until finding "Pierce County Facebook links". If anyone wants to "like" a Facebook page, they'll need a Facebook account to link that request, but otherwise they can just look at it.