Even though the fair doesn’t open until July 23-27, the Coos County Fair Alliance has been busy with a couple of big remodeling projects on the fairgrounds.
The livestock barn has sheltered kids and animals for years in a wide variety of programs such as pre-4-H Cloverbuds, Little People Showmanship Events, 4-H, FFA, and Open Class. The fair provides a county-wide showcase of agriculture, crafts, industry and business. The Fair provides the opportunity for all ages, from young to seniors, to exhibit their livestock, floral, land products, culinary, needlework, photography, arts, and crafts.
It wouldn’t be a fair and rodeo without a livestock barn! Several years ago, the barn was deemed as unsafe and torn down. Since then, tents have been used for housing the livestock. The cost of renting tents has been expensive and continued cost increases have made this option unsustainable.
What’s next? A new 32,682 square foot, wooden ‘bare-bones’ livestock pole barn is nearing completion. The new barn will include electrical, lighting, and fire suppression. Their shared goal is to raise sufficient funds to pay for the entire project before the 2019 fair.
This has been a “team effort across the board,” said Alliance president Dan Berg. As of March 2, $311,906 has been raised which is just $5,436 under the minimum budget. Approximately $188,000 is needed to give the barn all of the ‘bells and whistles’ which include additional electrical and lighting, water lines/spigots, drainage/gutters, cupolas, signage, and branding party costs.
The footprint of the new barn is slightly larger than the tent footprint in 2018. This will help accommodate the increasing number of animal entries and minimize major fair layout modifications. The expansive roof (210 x 156 feet) will provide plenty of shade for people and animals. Wooden structures, like this have a tendency to weather better than steel structures in our climate (according to the website) making this an extremely cost-effective and very low maintenance project.
A new food pavilion is also in progress and should be done by 2020. It will feature six food stations, covered seating, a patio and courtyard, a grape arbor, and will have a tongue and groove wood ceiling. The lighting and design will make the building available for year-round use for special events and dance venues. The pavilion is home to the Bridge Grange, and Lyons and Boy Scouts Booths.
Even though the fair is a county entity, it receives no tax monies or public funds. It does receive some Lottery funds, but its primary budget comes from Fair proceeds, events, activities, and private donations. Thanks to the many donors, partners, and the Fair Board for their work so far.
Fund raising efforts are being spearheaded by the Coos County Fair Alliance, Inc. (CCFA). The CCFA is a tax exempt (501c3) organization. To donate to these worthwhile improvements, go to www.cooscountyfairalliance.org. There is a donate button on the About the Barn page.
How does this fit with business retention and expansion? The livestock pole barn is a critical part of the showing and auctioning activities at the fair which brings in thousands of dollars each year. The Coos County Fair and Rodeo has supported the Coos Youth Auction Committee (CYAC) for many years. Space to show and auction livestock has been provided to the committee at no charge. The CYAC raised almost $500,000 last year, with the majority of buyers being local residents and businesses. The fair helps support many local and regional businesses and is a favorite tourist destination.
What would a fair be like without the livestock? B-a-a-a-a-d-d-d M-o-o-o-s-s #;-D
Photos provided by the Coos County Fair Alliance. Thank you!