New traffic flow patterns on fairgrounds

Members of the Iota Beta chapter of the Phi Beta Psi Sorority volunteer at the Garfield Avenue fairgrounds entrance: (in the window) Nicole Virts with Andrew Wilson; (outside) Janice Closser. The chapter donates its reimbursement from the fair board to the sorority’s national cause—cancer research.

(Posted July 7, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

In the name of safety, the Madison County Senior Fairboard continues to adjust vehicle traffic flow patterns on the fairgrounds.

“The goal is to reduce mixing of exhibitors, visitors and vehicles,” said Darrell Champer, fairboard president. “It will take some adjustment; everybody has been doing the same thing for so many years. But I think once they’re used to it, it will be a lot safer for the kids.”

As was the case last year, the Garfield Avenue gate is the main entrance and exit for vehicles. A small, one-way loop confined to that side of the grounds gives visitors access to parking and campsites. It does not permit traffic flow through the center of the grounds.

Parking on the other side of the grounds can be accessed from two points off of Elm Street. To park in the lot in front of the Beck’s Hybrids hog barn, visitors must use the fairgrounds entrance next to the new electronic welcome sign. To park near the quarter midget racing track, visitors must use Gate 4 (aka the vendors’ gate). Both lots only allow traffic flow to and from the parking area; only certain exhibitors are permitted to drive beyond the lots into the fairgrounds.

“We will have signage on the Elm Street side, letting people no whether or not those lots are full,” Champer said.

Other changes related to moving about the fairgrounds include paving and drainage improvements.

Champer, Madison County Engineer Bryan Dhume, and Duane Powell, the fair’s equine point person, secured a state grant to resurface the parking areas and midway paths, fix drainage problems, improve handicap accessibility to the grandstands, and buy new horse stalls.

“We’re hoping this year to get through the fair without flooding. We should be able to handle the water this year,” Champer said.

He praised the work the engineer’s crew did on all of the drainage and resurfacing.

“They did a really great job.”

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