Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Booked! Schedule full for 2022 Grant County Fair

Staff Writer | June 22, 2022 1:20 AM

MOSES LAKE — The 2022 Grant County Fair will have a lot of things for people to do.

“The fair schedule is full. We are absolutely packed,” said Grant County Fairgrounds Director Jim McKiernan.

McKiernan gave an update on fair preparations in a report to Grant County Commissioners Tuesday. The fair is scheduled for Aug. 16 through 20.

McKiernan said the fair staff is working on upgrades around the grounds in advance of the fair, some of them already completed. New fencing is going up around sections of the fairgrounds perimeter, and fencing at the equestrian practice arena is near completion. The stands that participants use to wash and prep their animals prior to competition have been extended, and McKiernan said the number of wash racks for competitors was almost doubled.

The fairgrounds is used for a lot of equestrian events, and 16 additional stalls have been built to accommodate more horses, he said. Access to water and electricity has been upgraded at some of the horse barns, he said, making it easier to water the animals and get them ready for competition.

Fair preparation is underway, McKiernan said, and advance ticket sales have been brisk for the fair’s live music lineup. The country band Lonestar will take the stage Aug. 18, and country singer Kameron Marlow will appear Aug. 19.

The Columbia Basin Rodeo Association has purchased bleachers for a section of the rodeo grounds; previously the CBRA rented seating for that section, McKiernan said. The bleachers will be permanently installed.

McKiernan asked commissioners to start thinking about their priorities for projects in 2023. Once the fair is over, fairgrounds personnel start evaluating the facility for the next capital budget, he said.

Starting the upgrade of the campgrounds is one possibility; county officials worked with a Wenatchee engineering firm on a remodeling plan in 2020. Another project is the extension of the Ardell Pavilion. The pavilion hosts a number of events during the year, from high school equestrian competitions to barrel racing to tractor pulling.

Another possible project is the Huck Fuller building, a fairgrounds veteran. McKiernan said due to the building’s place in fairgrounds history, he would recommend remodeling it.

The fairgrounds property has a big sign on Valley Road, but the reader board that is part of the sign needs repair. Work on the sign is another capital project option, he said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

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