Rich Crombie is the fair's executive director. He hopes a big turnout at this weekend's fundraiser will spur local businesses to contribute toward the $250,000 needed to keep the fair alive.
"The fair is truly in trouble and is about to go dark essentially after 136 years."
Crombie attributes the money problems to the weak economy. And he points out the fair gets no state funding.
He says canceling the fair means fewer out-of-towners coming to Reno and that'll hurt local restaurants, shops and other businesses.
"The services that we use and employ to help set up and run the event, certainly now that's one less thing that they can count on revenue-wise."
Crombie says if fair organizers don't raise the needed money by next Tuesday Nevada will join Michigan as the only states without fairs.
Saturday's Wild West themed fundraiser will be held at the Sparks Marina. It's called "Nevada Roundup" and will include historical re-enactors, gunfighters and rides on a horse-drawn stagecoach.