One change at the fairgrounds may not be seen by many, but it is likely to have an impact on the eight-day event.
Fair President Dr. LeMayne Ellis said there will be a back entrance to the fairgrounds this year, allowing trucks hauling horses and other livestock as well as vehicles in motor sport events to get onto the fairgrounds without clogging traffic at the main gate.
Ellis said there will be electric signs at the north end of the Harrodsburg bypass directing drivers to the south end of the bypass and from there to the fairgrounds. When livestock gets to the fairgrounds, some will go to new barns.
Fire destroyed one horse barn just before Christmas and it had to be replaced. New barns were part of a plan Ellis has put together for the future of the fairgrounds, but they were not expected to be constructed until the whole project got under way. The fire, however, meant new barns were needed sooner than expected.
New barn in place
The new 64- by 142-foot barn with 39 stalls has been built in the place where one of the cattle barns was located. It was torn down and replaced with a 75- by 100-foot free-span, multipurpose metal barn.
While both of the structures have been completed in time for this year's fair, money still is needed to pay for the barns.
Some money has been raised to pay for the structures. Some of the stalls in the horse barn have been sold, but 17 remain unsold. Ellis said that for $1,000, a plaque will be placed on the stall door in memory or in honor of a person.
Mercer County Fiscal Court donated $10,000, and the new restaurant tax brought $7,500 to the cause.
An agricultural diversification grant added $29,250 toward the cost of the cattle barn. The rest is being raised by private donations.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the cost of the barns may do so by contacting Ellis at (859) 265-0872.
A new event, a single-elimination cornhole tournament, will be Wednesday at the cattle show arena; registration is at 6:30 p.m. and the tournament begins at 7 p.m. More classes and an additional night have been added to the horse show, and there will be an additional event, a lawn tractor pull, which will be 7 p.m. Monday at the pulling track.
Admission to the fairgrounds is $5; $8 wristbands that allow riders access to all the rides also can be purchased.