Fair Endowment Ensures Future

The 2017 edition of the Fayette County Free Fair has ended, with fans of the annual event already looking forward to next year.

For many, a trip to the Fayette County Fairgrounds during Free Fair time is one of fun and excitement, with nary a thought by fairgoers given to the actual buildings – except to go in them – such as Expo Hall, Memorial Showplace Arena, the 14 Acres camping area and other structures which play a vital part in making the Free Fair what it is.

And an almost decade-old endowment at the Fayette County Foundation helps ensure that the Free Fair will always have operable, safe, clean and serviceable structures and grounds to help it along for years to come.

The Fayette County Free Fair Buildings and Ground Endowment was established in the fall of 2008 by the last board members of the Fayette County Co-op, with the mission of the endowment to make sure that the fairgrounds of Fayette County always were in shape for the county’s biggest spectacle of the year.

The endowment is very important for the future of the fairgrounds,” said Anna Dungan, executive director of the FCF. “The endowment will allow the Fayette County Free Fair board of directors to have money for general maintenance and capital improvements to the buildings and grounds.”

While the award from the endowment only totaled roughly $470 in 2017, Dungan said just give it time, and the figure will grow as the years and decades roll on.

“It’s not a lot of money today,” she continued, “but in a decade or two the endowment will still be awarding annual grants to keep the buildings and ground in great condition.”

Some in the community might think, what’s wrong with the fairgrounds as they are? Well, while there might not be anything wrong with them now, Dungan said it’s like planning for retirement – if you start preparing early, you won’t be scrambling later on when it is needed.

“We see so often where a organization does not save for capital improvements down the road,” Dungan concluded. “The time to set money aside is before the improvement is needed.”

And whenever that might be for the Fayette County Free Fair – though what sort of improvement really could be needed for the county’s crown jewel? – the funds will be there, thanks to the forward thinking of those Fayette County Co-op members.

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