CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Pickaway County commissioners knew they needed to rehab the fairgrounds.
The buildings were built during the 1940s through the 1960s and were, at best, dilapidated.
Christy Rigsby’s children participate in the annual fair by showing goats. She explained that the event would become a mess when it rained.
“We would’ve had mud throughout the pens and they would’ve been wet, our goats would have been wet,” said Rigsby.
She explained that there would have been standing water and that was a concern due to possible electrocution because participants would plug in fans to help keep them and the animals cool.
Rigsby added that the cables would have been underwater and the sockets had exposed wires.
Pickaway County Commissioner Jay Wippel said the county had to start the renovations from scratch.
“We had to tear all the old buildings down,” said Wippel. “They were in pretty bad shape.”
The Pickaway County Agriculture Society replaced every animal building, put the utilities underground, and erected new arenas. The project cost more than $14 million.
Among the new facilities and features at the fairgrounds are Heritage Hall, a 20,000 square-foot arena; a 37,000-square-foot show pavillion; a 1,000-seat outdoor ampitheatre; a cattle barn; a hog barn; a 90-foot horse barn; a goat and sheep barn; a small animal barn; a picnic pavilion; and a large space for outdoor rides and events.
Pickaway County provided $7 million in funding and the rest is from a capital campaign which raised $5 million. There is still $2 million that needs to be raised.
As for Rigsby, she and her family are focused on cleaning and showing their livestock — and not worried for their safety.
“That’s the big difference. Everybody is safe,“ said Rigsby.
Most of the fairground’s venues now comply with the Americans with Disabilites Act. The few that do not will be renovated or replaced.
The Pickaway County Fair is currently underway and runs through June 22.