The opening ceremony to kick off the 2018 Pickaway County Fair was held Monday afternoon. The annual event will conclude with the start of the first phase of an estimated $10-million revitalization project.
Pickaway County Commissioner Jay Wippel said they will start by tearing down 6 animal barns and the grange building.
"We will construct 6 new animal barns and two show arenas," said Wippel. "July 9th is the date we start doing the demos, and then we will have (the new buildings) ready to go for the '19 fair."
Broken down, Phase I will include:
- 37,800 sq ft show pavilion
- 11,200 sq ft cattle barn
- 13,920 sq ft hog barn
- 21,016 sq ft horse barn
- 10,240 sq ft sheep and goat barn
- 7,200 sq ft small animal barn
- 1,000 seat outdoor amphitheater
- 20,000 sq ft multipurpose arena
- restructured parking lots
- picnic areas and surfaced walkways
Wippel said a two-story multipurpose building will include 4,200 sq ft in office, meeting, and concession space: "That particular building will be finished office space and rental facilities so we can have wedding receptions there, birthday parties, and so forth because it'll be completely heated and cooled with a commercial kitchen."
Phase II, which is estimated to begin in 2019, will focus on construction of a two-story event center that will seat 250 people on the ground level and 300 on the second, as well as an additional 300-space parking lot and entrance from Nicholas Drive.
According to literature from the Pickaway Agriculture and Event Center, the community is being asked to "match the public support already committed of $5,000,000"; however, Wippel said they will borrow what the balance and will repay it with money generated through rentals at the new fairgrounds facilities.
Maintenance has been completed on the fairgrounds facilities, which were built in the 1940s, said Wippel.
"Basically, there's been some small (updates) here over the last couple of decades, but absolutely nothing of this magnitude here when we're talking about what we're trying to do."
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facilities will be held at the fairgrounds at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, ahead of the livestock sales, said Wippel.
The revitalization efforts to the Pickaway County Fairgrounds received a sizable boost on Monday with $250,000 contribution to the project from Cargill Incorporated.
Anyone interested in offering support can learn more online at www.pickawaycountyfair.org.
The 2018 Pickaway County Fair's annual parade was held on Monday night.