Fairgrounds starting to book more non-fair events


(Posted May 13, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

“I’m very pleased to announce it’s busy, finally,” said Bob Richardson, sales and marketing director for the Madison County Fairgrounds.

The Madison County Senior Fair Board named Richardson to the new position in February. Since then, he has worked to book events to increase revenue and use of the fairgrounds.

On May 3, the Madison County chapter of the Ohio Horseman’s Council hosted a fun show that drew 41 horses and riders. The chapter will host a five-part series of timed races and games starting May 31 and running through the fall.

Last weekend, the three-day Mid Ohio Dairy Goat Show was held at the fairgrounds. On May 23, a swine show will bring approximately 250 hogs to the fairgrounds. Sponsored by Real McCoy Genetics, the show is part of the new OH-PIGS summer show circuit, a youth program of the Ohio Pork Council.

“That is going to be huge,” Richardson said. “Because the new hog barn is in the midst of being built, we had to be creative. So, we put up our new hog pens. We’ll put them in the Green Building and any overflow in the sheep arena.” The show itself will take place in the Eby Youth Arena.

On May 29, a circus will take place in the youth arena. New Holland Corp., based out of Pennsylvania, will use several portions of the fairgrounds June 10-12 to show dealers their new agriculture equipment. The Danny Toops Memorial Truck Pull, which drew a huge crowd last year, is slated for June 13.

Richardson supplies all groups who rent the fairgrounds with a list of local food vendors. For the New Holland Corp., he also supplied a list of companies that clean and detail vehicles.

“I highly recommend to all to use local vendors. So far, that’s what gets used,” he said.

Richardson has booked several weddings and wedding receptions for this year. In some cases, two events are booked at the same time, utilizing the Della Selsor Building and Coughlin Community Center. He also hopes to get more rentals on the books for business meetings. A group of gas station owners already meets at the fairgrounds monthly with an average attendance of 60 people.

Another goal, Richardson said, is to have more 4-H clubs hold their meetings at the fairgrounds.

“We don’t make money on that, but that’s OK. It’s for the community,” he said.

For fairgrounds rental info, call (740) 852-1654.

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