Visitors to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia next month will enjoy about $8 million in improvements to the grounds. This includes campground improvements, brick horse barn upgrades and major renovations at the sheep pavilion and swine barn, marketing director Kari Mergen said.
There also has been a large donation for a new director’s pavilion near the Centennial gate, which is the area the popular governor’s ham breakfast is held every August. That’s always been a tent in years past. Missouri State Fair director Mark Wolfe credits Sedalia’s Nucor Steel for its generosity.
“They donated the entire building package, which was 20 feet by 100 feet longer than what we were planning,” he told Missourinet. “What they’ve provided was free span, so no interior columns or posts, really opened that up and just made a spectacular facility up there.”
North Carolina-based Nucor, the nation’s largest steel producer, has opened a $250 million steel plant near Highway 65 in Sedalia. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new director’s pavilion took place in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit. State Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn noted it was the first investment in the state fair in nearly a decade. Nucor provided all of the steel for the pavilion.
The Coliseum, constructed in 1905-06, and the Womans Building, built in 1910, are two of the earliest buildings on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Both the Coliseum and Womans Building are part of 66 contributing structures comprising the 396-acre fairgrounds, 215-acres of which are designated as a National Register Historic District. The rehabilitation projects were a collaborative effort between SFS Architecture, the State of Missouri, State Fair staff, and the State Historic Preservation Office.
The rehabilitation projects were a collaborative effort between SFS Architecture, the State of Missouri, State Fair staff, and the State Historic Preservation Office.
The rehabilitation of the 26,977 square foot steel truss and timber-framed Coliseum included sitework repairs; structural repairs of the roof and columns; asphalt roofing replacement; terra cotta repair; exterior painting; window and door repair and replacement; exterior lead paint abatement; and accessibility upgrades, including restroom upgrades, new handrails, and ramps. It was also discovered that one hundred years of spraying the dirt floor to reduce dust had damaged the bleacher seating structure. Pressure treated boards replaced the rotted 6” x 12” wood sill plates that supported the bleacher seating to extend the life of the bleachers and the arena.
The structures are some of the mot popular on the fairgrounds.
Governor is a “ham”
The governor’s ham breakfast will take place on August 19. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the breakfast, which is one of the biggest political events in Missouri each year.
The 119th Missouri State Fair will take place from August 12 to 22. This year’s fair theme is “Our Missouri Celebration,” referring to the state bicentennial. The 2020 state fair was canceled because of the COVID pandemic, although there were outdoor youth livestock showings last August.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice