By John Holler, Correspondent
The Wright County Fair is annually one of the most popular county fairs in the state. One of the reasons is that the fair is constantly modernizing, keeping up with the times, and utilizing the fairgrounds space effectively.
At the March 13 meeting of the Wright County Board of Commissioners, Dennis Beise of the Wright County Fair Board came to inform the commissioners of the intent to build a 60 x 120 foot pole building with 16- foot side doors at an estimated cost of $100,000.
Beise commended past county boards that made sure the footprint of the fairgrounds was large enough for expansion that makes such additions possible.
“I just want to say how blessed we are in Wright County that the commissioners had the foresight (years ago) to buy the land we needed and to work with the fair,” Beise said. “I went by the Carver County Fair yesterday and they’re like a little peanut – they’re so swamped in. We’ve got so much land with a park and so many things at our fairgrounds. I’m really happy because I have dear feelings for the fair.”
The impetus for the construction of the building is two-fold. First, there is a demonstrated need for more storage space – the county fair board rents out boat storage space during the winter months. Second, new regulations dealing with the potential quarantining of sick animals have been increased to have a dedicated space in the event it is needed. This building can accomplish both of those needs.
“Right now we have no place to isolate cows or animals that might be sick,” Beise said. “The Health Department has told us we have to get them out of the barn. We’ve never had it happen, but nowadays everything needs to be up to snuff. We would put pens in one corner of the building and we could park all of our stuff during the fair in this building instead of just leaving it around the grounds. The rest of the year we could use it for storage.”
Currently there is only building on the fairgrounds equipped to handle large boats and it fills up each year. Beise estimated that with more space, many more boats can and would be stored at the site over the winter months. Last year, the fair board took in $40,000 on storage rental fees.
The money to construct the building will come out the fair board budget and no county dollars will be needed. Commissioner Mike Potter said the Wright County Fair is the envy of other counties and it’s staying ahead of the growth curve and making modernization changes that has kept it such a popular summer destination for so many.
“I’m very proud of the Wright County Fair,” Potter said. “We have the third-highest attended fair in the state. It’s very popular. A lot of people from other counties come to our fair because their county fair stinks. I’m one that firmly believes that if you don’t keep investing in and improving your fairgrounds, you may as well get rid of it. To me, you’re just helping to be more solvent and improving.”
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