(Posted Jan. 5, 2016)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“We’re pretty much booked every weekend,” said Bob Richardson, who manages rental agreements for the Madison County Fairgrounds facilities.
Interest in and use of the fairgrounds has increased significantly with the construction of a new youth arena, community center and hog barn over the last few years. Richardson said he also expects to book more equine events once the roof goes up over the horse arena.
“Rental revenue was up 50 percent last year over 2015, and we’re already exceeding 2016’s revenues in 2017,” he said.
Among the events booked for 2017 are:
• Columbus Collie Club Show—Jan. 28-29. Open to the public, this event attracts dogs and their owners from across the country.
• Hog Shows—Jan. 14-15 and Feb. 4-5. Part of the Buckeye Show Circuit, these events attract approximately 400 head of hogs each day.
• BEST Cattle Show—Feb. 10-12. The Madison County Cattlemen’s Association hosts this show, which draws over 300 head of cattle and, according to Richardson, is “a big deal” in the Ohio cattle show scene.
• Tack Sale—Feb. 26. A local group will sell horse gear as a fundraiser.
• Hog sales—mid-March through early April. “We have eight hog sales scheduled. They are auctions with about 100 head at each,” Richardson said. “It’s three more sales than we had last year, and we even have participation from Texas this year.” Many of the buyers will be looking for pigs for 4-H and FFA projects.
• Show Ring To Success Seminar—April 22. Put on by Heritage, this educational event attracts 800 participants from around Ohio. Livestock ambassadors for each animal species provide participants with information on showmanship, daily grooming and feeding. This is the second year the seminar is being held in London.
• Sheep Show—May 13.
• Ohio Pig Shows—May 27-28. Separate events held on these two days are part of a show circuit.
• Simmental Junior Regional Show—The fairgrounds is hosting this cattle event for the first time. Entrants from multiple states will participate.
• Quarter Midget Association Eastern Grand Nationals—June 26-July 1. The Central Ohio Quarter Midget Racing Association is hosting this youth car racing competition on their track, located on the Elm Street side of the Fairgrounds.
“They expect 350 to 400 quarter midget racers here, which will mean well over 1,000 people,” Richardson said.
• Madison County Fair—July 8-15. After attending the annual Ohio Fair Managers Association conference this weekend, members of the Madison County Senior Fair Board are finishing up contracts for entertainment for this year’s fair.
• Safety Expo—Aug. 26. Spearheaded by the Madison County Emergency Management Agency, this free event, geared primarily toward children, involves emergency responders and social service agencies from around Madison County.
“Besides all of these events, we have wedding receptions, reunions and parties booked,” Richardson said.
He also is finalizing permits, contracts and details for a few more large-scale shows to be added to the 2017 schedule.
For more information about events and rental opportunities at the Madison County Fairgrounds, call (740) 852-1654 or visit madisoncountyfairoh.com.