KALISPELL – The highly-anticipated upgrades to the Flathead County Fairgrounds were officially unveiled Wednesday.
Included are a new south entry to the Grandstands, new restrooms at both ends of the grounds, new showers and two new food concession stands.
The upgrades like this wheelchair ramp will make the fairgrounds more accessible to all and are thanks to a Community Development Block Grant and partnerships in the community.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the completion of work that began last September. The former facilities were 57-years-old and not up to standards.
"It really is accessibility for everybody who wants to be a part of what happens here at the Fairgrounds," said Northwest Montana Fair & Rodeo Fair Manager Mark Campbell.
4-H Foundation President Dana Higgins says the former facilities were especially limiting to disabled children who participate in 4-H activities year-round in the buildings.
"It just makes this building accessible to people in wheelchairs who struggle with stairs, they are allowed to go in and take part in all of the wonderful activities," said Flathead 4-H Foundation President Dana Higgins.
Campbell thanked local partners their support in moving the more than million dollar project forward.
"With the partnerships we have pulled in for this with 4-H and [Flathead Electric’s] Round-up for Safety program and the state’s Block Development grant it made it so much easier and it really was a pleasure to get this accomplished," Campbell said.
The fair will run from August 15 to 19.
Last year nearly 80,000 people attended.
Tickets for Josh Turner this year’s entertainment went on sale on May 17. Campbell says they have already sold 1,700 of 4,000 tickets, that’s up by 30 percent from last year.