MUSCATINE, IA – Over the next five years, the Muscatine County Fair will be receiving a $360,000 match donation from Kent Corporation for the construction of new facilities at the fairgrounds and rehabilitating and preservation of existing buildings. These improvements will allow the Fair to expand its scope of entertainment and attractions for fairgoers across the county.
“While the County Fairgrounds are an important piece of history for our area, the usefulness of new and renovated facilities will help continue a strong agriculture tradition,” said Gage Kent, CEO of Kent Corporation. “Like Kent Corporation, the Fairgrounds has been around for generations and we hope that future generations will experience the benefits and value of a updated fairgrounds.”
Kent Corporation’s family of companies includes Kent Nutrition Group, Kent Pet Group, Kent Precision Foods Group, and Grain Processing Corporation. The company’s headquarters are located in Muscatine.
The Fair Board is kicking off a yearlong fundraising campaign during the “Weekend for the Fair” on June 6-7.
This structural improvement campaign will create a long-term plan for the preservation and maintenance of new and existing buildings. Many individuals will be donating a significant amount of time over the next 5 years to see the project succeed. Kent Corporation’s generous level of support will initiate the project and help Muscatine County host the best county fair in the State of Iowa. With these renovations, the Muscatine County Fair can continue to host attractions such as rodeos, concerts, livestock and pet shows, 4H and FFA competitions, and much more for years to come.
The Fair Board has been working with the Muscatine County Historic Preservation Commission to assess historical structures, to explore listing the campus on the National Registry of Historic Places, and to develop a comprehensive plan for preservation. About half of the buildings on the Fairgrounds are considered historical structures. Such a qualification would provide matching funds and grants for the rehabilitation and upkeep of these historical structures. If the structures on the fairgrounds meet the qualifications, they will be renovated and available for the public to enjoy.
Since 1852, the Muscatine County Fair has been a significant part of the culture and history of Muscatine County. Throughout the years, the fairgrounds have been used for various social and agricultural events and continue to serve as a hub for regional entertainment.
The community is invited to a prime rib cookout at 5:00pm and the auction fundraiser on Friday, June 6 at 6:00pm in the Midway Pavilion on the Muscatine County Fairgrounds. Fair Board members and Muscatine County Historic Preservation Commission members present to answer questions about the project and fundraising campaign.
Rich Dwyer, Kent Corporation563-264-4518
Adam Feldman, President, Muscatine County Fair Board, 319-631-5139
Tim Nichols, Project Lead, Muscatine County Fair Board, 563-299-3960