TIPPECANOE COUNTY (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County 4-H members will have a new coliseum to enjoy for the 2021 Tippecanoe County Fair.
“I think the easiest thing to say is you now have 105,000 square feet of new structure that’s been built,” said Tippecanoe County Commissioner, Dave Byers. “It’s very people and animal friendly.”
As news 18 previously reported, the 2020 Tippecanoe county fair was closed to the public due to COVID-19. Byers knows people are anxious to attend the 2021 fair and see the new updates.
"I think this year will be a very large fair because of how many people want to truly see the facility," said Byers. “I think everyone is going to be a little overwhelmed with what they’re seeing."
The new coliseum features a lot of amenities including an industrial kitchen and 800 hard-surface parking spots.
"When you walk in you'll see fold-in and fold-out bleachers," said Byers. "We also have power all over the place and it's set up so we can have concerts in here, or shows, and things like that."
Byers said the new coliseum is really a multi-purpose room.
“One of the things we really pushed when we designed this structure was two different air systems,” said Byers. “So if you have just humans walking around you have heating and air, but if you have just animals we have an air system that’s just pulling air."
The coliseum was built to accommodate a large amount of people for different events, including the upcoming 4-H fair.
“It’s basically 30,000 feet plus,” said Byers. “The show arena is currently getting built, but it will be coming in here soon and it’s one that can be put-up and taken back down.”
Byers said there are a few changes for 4-H members to keep in mind.
“What we call the ‘west wing’ is where the pigs will be coming in on a Friday,” said Byers. “Our understanding is they will be shown on Sunday and then they will leave.”
Byers said on Monday the rest of the goats and sheep will be coming in.
“So that’s going to be a little bit of a change to a lot of people,” said Byers. “Sheep have always been shown on Monday, but now they’re moving it to a Wednesday.”
“Where the old rabbits and birds were put, that building is now turning into a second show arena,” said Byers. “So the rabbits, birds and llamas from my understanding are going to be shown in there.”
Byers said he believes it’s perfect to have the animals shown in that specific arena.
“It’s perfect because it’s close to where there penning is,” said Byers. “You just have to walk across the hallway.”
As far as getting your livestock to the fairground, Byers said not much is going to change.
“Everything is going to be coming in off of 18th Street and coming in on the back route,” said Byers. “All livestock will be coming in that way, including the horses.”
For the upcoming Tippecanoe County Fair, Byers would like to give 4-H members a piece of advice.
"Come in with an open mind," said the County Commissioner. "There's a lot of people who are very sentimental about the old facility and we totally understand that, but memories can be made every year no matter where you're at."
Byers said the new coliseum will provide a lot of new opportunities moving forward. One of the new opportunities could mean bringing in national livestock shows.
"We've has a couple of national beef shows contact us about possible coming in here,” said Byers. “We've also been contacted by some other individuals for potential national sheep shows."