A central Indiana county says the show will go on this summer with a new fair grandstand after it demolished the old one because of safety concerns found during an inspection prompted by the deadly Indiana State Fair stage collapse.
Organizers of the Delaware County fair say the new seating area is expected to be completed by July. It replaces the old 3,000-seat grandstand that was built in 1948 and closed last year after inspectors found parts of the steel superstructure had rusted through and wood and asphalt bases had collapsed.
The deterioration was discovered during an inspection prompted by the state fair stage collapse that killed seven people and injured dozens of fans awaiting an Aug. 13 performance by country duo Sugarland.
Delaware County fair officials had feared that demolishing the grandstand would force them to scale back the event, which runs July 9-21. But county officials in March approved the $500,000 project to demolish the old structure, and work is expected to be complete before the fair opens, The Star Press reported Tuesday.
Grandstand events being planned for the fair include a high school band contest, two demolition derbies, a truck pull, hog wrestling and a rodeo at the grandstand.
“We’re getting back to that old-time family fair,” fair board member Jane Lasater said. “It’s going to be an amazing fair this year.”
Officials have also scheduled a bull riding event in August.
“We are committed to utilizing the grounds more,” Lasater said. “We want to squeeze everything we can out of it.”
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