Adams County Regional Park and Fairgrounds is prepared for a makeover
After decades of planning, research and waiting the Adams County Regional Park, home to the Adams County Fairgrounds, is prepping for an expansion and a bit of a makeover.
With two 18-hole golf courses, a large trail network, the Adams County History Museum and a cultural center, the 1,200-acre Adams County Regional Park is more than the home to the Adams County Fairgrounds, it is the heart of Adams County.
With a comprehensive master plan in place, park managers and stakeholders want to keep that heart beating.
According to a revised master plan for the park, it is time to rethink the functions and uses of the Fairgrounds. The master plan states it is a “guide for the long-range development of the Fairgrounds.” That long-range development includes enhancements to the fairgrounds including “recreational, educational, cultural, scenic resources, facility and infrastructure development and natural resource management within the context of the larger regional park.”
Much like the popular saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” the expansion of the regional park and fairgrounds is a plan that has gone through multiple stakeholder meetings and public input.
Feedback from those meetings is being used now to improve upon the park and the fairgrounds. Some of the major goals of the expansion include reorganizing, enhancing and constructing quality facilities for livestock and user groups to improve health, safety comfort and relationships between existing users; adding needed facilities including animal barns and provide an enlarged covered arena.
After the previous indoor arena was torn down in July because the roof was found to be in unstable conditions that could not be guaranteed for safe usage, the clamor for a new arena began almost immediately.
Another worry among fairground and park goers is the accessibility of the fairgrounds, particularly from Riverdale Road.
“I don’t want to say it’s a nightmare, but yeah, it’s a nightmare,” said Margaret Hatch a Brighton resident who has attended the Adams County Fair each of the four years she has lived in Brighton. “Parking is confusing and getting in and out can take forever.”
The revised master plan for the park and fairgrounds expansion and redevelopment takes into account the transportation difficulties visitors currently come across at the park. It cites that “parking areas are not well defined and lack sufficient way finding features” and “pedestrian zones are not well defined. Livestock, vehicles and pedestrians often share the same circulation routes creating the possibility for confusion or injury to visitors or livestock.”
With that in mind, fairground caretakers and organizers are putting transportation and accessibility at the top of their list.
The plan lists creating cohesive and legible pedestrian circulation, including a central pedestrian spine as well as maximizing parking areas while minimizing their visual an environmental impact.
“I would love to see a designated pedestrian walkway and anything they could do to improve the access to and from the fairgrounds would be amazing,” Hatch said. “I don’t want to sound like a critic, I really love the fair, but like with a lot of fairgrounds, it’s a little dated and could definitely use some TLC.”
Along those lines is the plan to better the usage of the fairgrounds beyond the events it hosts now. The master plan calls for an enhancement to the existing built environment “and helps is preserve and interpret the unique qualities of Adams County’s cultural heritage.”
Some of the active and passive recreational opportunities include equestrian and rodeo events, 4H activities, fairs, markets, stock shows, dog shows, picnicking, weddings, banquets and corporate events, many of which exist as events now at the fairgrounds.
For more information on updates to the park and to view upcoming events visit www.adcogov.org.