The new Belmont County Fairgrounds is still in its infancy, but great strides are being taken to make the facility the best it can be as the new site's development continues.
Last year, the fair opened at its new location off Roscoe Road, just west of St. Clairsville. After being held at the old fairgrounds near the St. Clairsville schools campus for so long, the fair's long-awaited change of venue last year truly brought something new to the table.
The event's history stems back more than 160 years, and the future continues to look promising. In fact, the new venue not only has many more acres to utilize, but also already has more barns for animals that the previous site ever did.
Last year's inaugural event at the new fairgrounds brought with it not only a new location but also newly constructed barns for the animals, a motorcross track and expanded midway for rides, games and food vendors. The James Carnes Center, which has hosted numerous events over the past few years, was finally used for the fair for the first time last year.
A lot has happened since the first Belmont County Fair opened at its new site last, as officials from the Belmont County Agricultural Society have been working to bring several improvements to the facility. Some of the improvements won't be so noticeable, as it has taken place underground. A good deal of infrastructure expansion has taken place over the past year.
Thanks to donations and community support, the fair board was able to bring some improvements that visitors will be able to see. A new cattle barn has been built, and expanded seating has been installed in the show area outside the swine barn. Rains made the new site somewhat muddy last year, but since then, a lot of grass has been planted, some landscaping has been added and other improvements has been taking shape in anticipation of this week's opening of the fair.
In the coming years, the fair board will continue to take steps toward making the new fairgrounds one of the best in the state of Ohio. We encourage everyone to visit the Belmont County Fair this week and support those involved, particularly the many young people from the area who are playing an important role in the future of Ohio's top industry - agriculture.