The Monroe County Fair Board is gearing up for the 2019 fair (which starts Thursday, July 25) with some major facility improvements.
With help from the Albia Area Chamber of Commerce, the fairgrounds entrance has been rebuilt, lots of boards on the grandstand bleachers have been replaced and the fair board has acquired the existing Monroe County Saddle Club Stand in the Grandstand. The Saddle Club became unable to do the food and drinks at this time and so the board will be providing Grandstand Event goers with food and drinks in 2019.
The grounds and entrance will have a different look at this year’s fair. Many years ago, the area on the east end of the Grandstand arena was adopted by the John and Dorothy Koffman family and they fixed the area in memory of their parents who were avid gardeners, known for beautiful flowers, and in honor of their children’s activities and involvement in the Monroe County 4-H Program for many years.
Over time the area was unable to be kept up by the family and they agreed to a new plan in 2019.
The Monroe County Fair Board applied for a grant from the Monroe County Iowa Community Foundation. The foundation makes grants available to tax exempt organizations to assist in strengthening service providers and improving the conditions of the county and its communities. The foundation presented an award of $3,000 to the fair board.
The area was cut back and then sprayed multiple times to kill the growth. Lathrop Farms delivered multiple loads of river rock for the project and then help, like a miracle through a simple contact with Kevin Crall, Albia School Superintendent, was provided by the Albia Community School District through their “Random Act of Kindness Day” held on June 28. A group of dedicated youth led by Albia football coaches Justin Huber and Scott Farrington were on sight painting and prepping the area.
Agriland Farm Service from Moravia through Jim Koffman donated heavy tarp to cover the area. The two fair board members spearheading the project, Kim Wynn and Angela Wilson, together had a vision to create a beautiful, noticeable, low maintenance entrance not only to the Monroe County Fairgrounds but to the city limits of Albia on Highway 5.
Work began with Doug Wolfer with KMA Steel and he designed the letters, larger animals, and 4-H and FFA emblems to be secured on the existing fence area. “The project became a larger community event than ever imagined and the collaboration of the community and people and business have been tremendous,” said Wilson.
With everything in place a work day was set for Sunday, July 14 to make the vision a reality and even in the extreme heat a crew appeared to make it happen step by step. Equipment from Rozenboom Farms arrived and so did people.
Those that helping during the day were Justin, Becky, Logan and Landon Rozenboom, Curtis Clark, Jill Kosman, Doug and Brianna Wolfer, Mark Shepard, Steve & Kim Wynn, and Kevin & Angela Wilson.
Some fine tuning will continue up to the start of the Fair on July 25, 2019 and fairgoers with travelers driving by alike will notice the entrance area and it’s new look heading into Albia on Highway 5 in 2019.