Madison Fairgrounds

Fair board to raise $150,000
for fairground renovations

Merchant hall replacements
to be ready for July fair

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

(March 2011) – The Jefferson County, Ind., 4-H Fair Board has begun a drive to raise $150,000 to replace the two merchant buildings at the fairgrounds and to upgrade some other buildings.
“There are things that just need to be done, and it’s time to raise some money to do it,” said Bill Hensler, president of the fair board.
Already, $60,000 has been raised and construction of the north merchant building has begun. Both buildings are to be ready for the 2011 4-H Fair, to be held July 8-15.
The buildings that are to be replaced were built in the late 1950s or early 1960s, Hensler said. They provide spaces for businesses and organizations to display their wares and greet familiar customers as well as vie for new business. During fair week, fairgoers enjoy walking through the merchant buildings to greet business friends, sign up for drawings and collect giveaway items.

Farigrounds Construction

Photo by Laura Hodges

Already, $60,000 has heen raised
and construction on two new merchant
halls has begun at the Jefferson
County 4-H Fairgrounds.

The north building has already been demolished and the south building will also be razed to make way for the new merchant buildings. The south building will be approximately the same size, while the north building will be larger to accommodate a greater number of exhibitors.
Both buildings will have four large openings and large fans to allow for good airflow – an important factor in the typical July heat.
The fair board envisions other improvements as well. Hensler said the roof on the community building needs to be replaced. It will also be insulated. There is a possibility of installing air conditioning if enough money is raised.
The restroom building at the south side of the fairgrounds will also be rebuilt.
Hensler said it is important to maintain the fairgrounds because it is so widely used by a wide spectrum of the county population. The Jefferson County Fairgrounds is located at 3852 W. S.R. 256 in Madison.
“It’s a real focal point for the area. We want to be a community centerpiece,” he said.
The fairgrounds is used year round. A radio-controlled car group uses it every weekend, and the Jefferson County Bluegrass Association has a bluegrass concert once a month. Elementary students come out once a year for Ag Day, when they learn about the agricultural way of life. The fairgrounds is also used for 4-H club meetings, educational meetings put on by the Soil and Water Conservation District, family reunions, motorcycle rallies, demolition derbies and numerous other events.
And during one week in July, it seems that every resident of Jefferson County visits the fairgrounds at least once.
The fairgrounds has occupied its present location since 1953, said Jefferson County Extension Agent Lonnie Mason. Many of the structures built in the 1950s are still in use.
Hensler and fair board vice president Scott Hubbard have been taking their capital campaign presentation to business leaders. Individual donations are also welcome.

• Anyone interested in the campaign may contact Bill Hensler at (812) 273-4949, Scott Hubbard at (812) 265-2888 or Jefferson County Extension Agent Lonnie Mason at (812) 265-8919.

Back to March 2011 Articles.



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