The Fairgrounds Beyond the Fair

June 29, 2021
Intern's picture

Working in the Blue Ribbon Foundation office on the Fairgrounds is a unique experience all its own. The office is located in the Earth home, nestled in the side of Expo Hill across from the Fun Forest. While this may seem like a simple, out of the way spot, I’m learning that summer time anywhere on the Fairgrounds is rarely ever quiet.

Last week the Fairgrounds hosted the National Junior High Rodeo, the week before that was the World Pork Expo and now this weekend is the Goodguy’s Car Show. While the Blue Ribbon Foundation is not directly involved in these events, our efforts in preserving the Fairgrounds are what makes it possible for outside events to occur.

Each day at work, I get the chance to see visitors enjoying the buildings, benches, and stages that we work to preserve. I had no idea how much goes on beyond the 11-Day Fair and the visitors the Fairgrounds attracts all summer long. Walking around during the World Pork Expo two weeks ago, and driving through the campgrounds during the National Junior Rodeo last week, I got a glimpse of just how many different places people travel to the Fairgrounds from. International guests regularly attend the World Pork Expo and the camping spots for the Junior Rodeo marked spaces for riders from Hawaii, Canada and across the United States. 

Each of these events bring their own flavor to the Fairgrounds in the form of new visitors, exhibitors, and general traffic. The Pork Expo required a pass for entry, the Rodeo came with hundreds of golf carts and soon the grounds will be parked full of antique cars. While a Fairground full of zooming golf carts and navigating opened and closed entry gates just to get to work can seem like a nuisance, the chance to share this place we love with so many people is well worth the hassle. Overall, it has been exciting to see all the little ways the Blue Ribbon Foundation has contributed to making these events possible and to see guests from around the globe get to discover the beauty of our Fairgrounds that we know and love.

-Kara De Bruin, Sponsor Relations Intern