- Will Garbe Staff Writer
The Montgomery County Fairgrounds will relocate to Arthur O. Fisher Park in Jefferson Twp. for the 2018 fair.
The Montgomery County Agricultural Society board voted 15-5 in favor of the site — beating out several other sites, including two in Germantown. The decision came Tuesday during a late-night meeting.
Here are five things to know about the new fairgrounds:
1. The new site will be intended for year-round use, allowing the financially challenged Ag Society to earn revenue outside the one-week fair. The new site, if built to the ideal specifications of the Ag Society, would feature three heated and cooled buildings available to rent year-round. With those facilities, the principal use of the new property will be to host mid-sized events, with the fair as an ancillary, one-week event.
2. The site is located at 5661 Dayton-Liberty Road, about a mile due west of the Dayton VA Medical Center on the south side of U.S. 35. Fair officials had long expressed a desire to locate the fair on a major highway, though prior sites under consideration, including one in Huber Heights, were immediately adjacent to Interstates.
3. The land is owned by Montgomery County, which offered to donate the park to the Ag Society. Board members have said acquiring the land at no cost will allow the board to invest in the property. Another site in Vandalia near the Animal Resource Center was also owned by the county, though the Vandalia City Council ultimately rejected a proposal to house the new fair.
4. The 150-acre park is far larger than the downtown site, which is approximately 38 acres. The site has sewer and water connections, according to the Ag Society. The park is already developed, too, with eight baseball diamonds, 12 basketball courts, 10 tennis courts and four volleyball courts, according to the Montgomery County website. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, of those current amenities will remain on the site.
5. The fair could be up and running in 2018, according to Greg Wallace, the fair’s executive director and project manager. The historic fairgrounds in Dayton are under a purchase agreement between Premier Health and the University of Dayton. The fair will need to move to the new site after the 2017 fair. Wallace said a July groundbreaking could mean the facilities at Arthur O. Fisher Park would be ready-to-go by summer 2018.