The Davis County Fairgrounds has finally found a home.
Davis County officials opened the new fairgrounds Saturday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a chariot racing contest.The new site was recently purchased for $650,000. A five-eighths of a mile oval race track and a horse arena have already been built, and other facilities are planned. Large tents will probably be set up this fall to house the County Fair exhibits if more permanent facilities cannot be established in time, county officials said.
Commissioner Dub Lawrence told nearly 500 people gathered at the 57-acre site just west of I-15 and adjacent to the construction site of the new Davis County Jail that the commission has delayed the county fair until Aug. 24 so the fairgrounds can be made as ready as possible.
Commissioner Gayle Stevenson was also at the ribbon- cutting ceremony, along with the 1988 County Fair queen, Sherri Seaman, Kaysville, and Don Sides, Farmington, president of the Davis County Horse Owners Association.
The fair used to be just north of the Lagoon amusement park but was moved several years ago when Lagoon officials decided they needed the area. The fair was moved to Davis High School, where it was held in the school gymnasium and in a parking lot south of the school.
Commissioners have considered buying land for a fairgrounds for nearly a decade and have considered several possible sites. Many county residents were concerned that the property near the jail might not be used.
The horse racing, chariot racing and rodeo facilities at the fairgrounds were built with contributions from area merchants, funds raised by the Davis County Horse Owners Association and volunteer labor from association members.
Sides said nearly $46,500 in materials and volunteer labor has been spent on the fairgrounds track and arena and his group plans to spend nearly $18,000 this year at the site.
Laurie Sides, membership chairwoman of the horse owners association, said 300 adults and 600 youths who own more than 1,000 horses belong to the association.