Youngsters showing livestock at the Adair County Fair next year will do so in the shade as an $83,000 donation from MidAmerican Energy has allowed the fair board to progress with plans for a covered show arena that will be ready sometime this fall, well ahead of next year's fair.
Matt Ott, with MidAmerican, made a check presentation to Fair Board President Scott Steele at the county fair this year with the funds earmarked for this project. Steele explained in a phone interview last week that the idea of an enclosed or covered show arena has been one the fair board has been toying with for awhile.
"Some people like to show in the shade, especially after we cut the big tree down [at our existing arena] that really covered everything. There'll be the advantage of that, but there will be a lot of skylights and there'll be a lot of sunlight coming to the inside of the arena," Steele said. "Everybody will be able to sit under shade too, though, and not have to sit out in the sun."
Steele explained the new arena will be a Sukup building 70-by-90 and 18 feet tall. The arena will be open on all sides.
The fair board plans to keep the existing outdoor show arena as well. The new one will be located just south of the outdoor arena.
"One will be indoor and one will be for a staging area and practice. That gives the hope of picking up maybe more open shows in the near future or in the afternoons during the fair," Steele said. "I haven't been to the [completely enclosed arena in Afton] but a lot of other guys have and they said this will be similar. The main benefit is having the two arenas is that it will allow us to open up a broader band of showing possibilities for the future."
Work will begin on the covered show arena immediately after the Early Wheels of Iowa Swap Meet on the fairgrounds the weekend of September 6-8. Steele said the window of completion for the project will only be two to three weeks with the cement foundation taking four to five days and the remainder of the project taking less than a week.