Fair board president says new structure will be larger and more functional –
Story by Patricia Beech –
Photo by Mark Carpenter –
The iconic, two-story stone and concrete gazebo that for decades served as the hub of the county fairground’s center ring has been demolished due to safety concerns according to fair board President Liz Lafferty.
“Two years ago during the 2015 fair the whole structure shifted forward and the railing was no longer meeting at the top,” said Lafferty. “It had to come down before someone got hurt.”
The decision to level the gazebo was made after the County Engineer’s office and professional carpenter and mason Jason Baldwin determined nothing could be done to save it.
The remains of the historic structure will be removed May 12 during GE Career Day by students from the Adams County Career and Technical Center.
Lafferty says a temporary stage will be brought in for the 2017 fair while the board explores options for replacing the gazebo.
“We want to do another gazebo and we want it to match the historic grandstand and be the right scale, but we also want it to be functional and large enough to accommodate a band and the queen contest, while also allowing our horse show judges to have a 360 degree view of the center ring.”
Funding for the new structure will be raised in part by the annual Grandstand Bonanza dinner in October.
“We won’t build until we know exactly what will work for us,” said Lafferty. “But we’re looking at a structure with columns and an open air stage that is up off the ground.”
The addition of a new gazebo follows months of fairground renovations that restored the 75-year-old wooden grandstand and provided new fencing and lighting around the center ring.
Further improvements included new pens and a much-needed refacing of the goat barn, a complete renovation of the public restrooms behind the grandstand, and numerous electrical upgrades.