The Boone County Fairgrounds near Hwy. 63 and Oakland Gravel Road look more like a ghost town than a carnival venue. Come July, the area will once again light up with rides, the midway will be teeming with people and the 4H kids from all over the county will show livestock; but after 180 years, the future of the Boone County Fair is unknown.
“We are going to have to find somewhere else to have our fair. There’s no question about that. They’ve already told us that this would be the last year of it,” said Jeff Cook, fair board president.
Boone County and the fair board reached a deal in April after months of negotiations. The board will host the fair on county grounds this year for a $20,000 rental fee, along with a $10,000 deposit. The fair board is also responsible for utility costs and any repairs the grounds will need after being unused for months.
“If they do repairs for elements that are necessary to run the place that are wise use of dollars, then we will take some of the money that they’ve allocated toward the rental of the facility and reimburse them,” said Boone County Commissioner Janet Thompson.
The fair’s future has been tenuous for some time. After residents voted down a tax increase in August for Parks and Recreation, the County doesn’t have the money to maintain the property during off season. So, the fair has to find a new home.
“We’re still going to try and put on the best fair that we can. I think it’s going to be a better fair than we’ve seen in the past couple years,” said Cook.
Cook said the board will soon repair and prepare the property for this summer’s fair. He said they’ll decide what’s next for the fair after it ends for the season. The Boone County Fair is July 21st through 25th.
You can click on the link for more information onBoone County Fair events.