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Iowa Co. Fair Spends Hundreds of Thousands to Fix Grounds

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MARENGO, Iowa — Project leaders are preparing to pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Iowa County Fairgrounds. Many people have come together over the past couple of years to raise $450,000.

It’ll pay for a new building, but that’s just the beginning of the project.

“I have been coming here for six years,” said 4-H Member Abbi Bullock, 18.

Many of the 4-Hers here have something to show off.

This year, however, the fair board is showing off something of its own. They announced a new project on the final day of the 2014 fair.

“It has been a struggle at times getting this far, but we are very committed now, and we are not going to turn back. A year from now, why, there will be a building here,” said Building Committee Member George Scott.

Fair leaders put their gold shovels in the ground. Soon, crews will get to work on that first building.

They call it phase one.

“Which is going to be a livestock housing arena and a new show arena. And then, we’ll have phase two later on, which will be a new hall, offices, bathrooms, things of that nature,” said Iowa Co. Fair Fundraising Event Coordinator Kate Moore.

Organizers said they’ve had their eye on this project for years. Some buildings are in rough shape, especially some livestock buildings built in 1951. Old wood and nails are clearly visible.

“It’s important for the kids. They are due for something a little nicer, and it has been a long time coming and the condition of the old buildings — it’s time. If not, it’s just going to fall down around us,” said Iowa County Fair Board President Allen Grabau.

For fair leaders, paying money to fix up the small county fair was a no-brainer, especially considering the hundreds of kids who take part each year.

“Children are the leaders of tomorrow, and so we need to make sure that still stays important,” Moore said.

The new building is expected to be ready for the 2015 fair season. Project leaders believe it will help the Iowa County Fair grow and expand. There’s no timeline, yet, on when work will begin on the second building. Organizers are still raising the money for that portion of the work. 4-H clubs are helping to raise money for the project.

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