Work underway on grandstand at fairgrounds

Workers finish putting a new roof on the grandstand Monday at the county fairgrounds in Jefferson. Visitors to the 173rd Ashtabula County Fair, set for Aug. 6-11, will discover a newly renovated grandstand.

JEFFERSON — Thanks to recent sunny skies and warm temperatures, the refurbishment of the grandstand is underway at the county fairgrounds.

This year’s 173rd county fair, scheduled for Aug. 6-11, will bring with it a newly renovated grandstand, according to fair officials.

“They finished the roof Monday, the electric is done and the security cameras are done,” said Darla Vargo, Fair Board secretary/treasurer. “They’re going to start working on the decking ... things are coming along.”

Before fair time, workers are expected to finish much of the $250,000 worth of improvements to the grandstand, making seating disabled-accessible, replacing the roof and adding a protective weather membrane and all-new wood decking.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Casey Kozlowski is happy the weather finally cooperated.

“The weather pushed us back a little but I’m pleased to see the progress being made on the project,” he said. “We’ve had a few good weeks of cooperative weather that has allowed for contractors to get the work done.”

It was Kozlowski who first encouraged the fair board to apply for the state grant, which required a $60,000 local match.

“We were successful in securing a $250,000 state capital grant to make improvements at the fairgrounds and the grandstand was in dire need of improvements,” he said. 

Fair Board President Brian Edelman said the board is excited about the work, as well as new grandstand shows on tap for this year, including a six-horse hitch series on Aug. 6 and a monster truck show slated for Aug. 8.

The always-popular Demolition Derbys will take place Aug. 7 and Aug. 10 in front of the grandstand.

Other grandstand attractions will include a rodeo, a youth parade, tractor pulls, truck pulls, horse pulls and harness racing.

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