LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Fair is set to kick off on Saturday at the newly renovated fairgrounds but one long-running show, the Home and Family Arts Open Show, won't be there.
The show was abruptly canceled after participants spent the last two months planning and preparing.
"I received this letter on June the 23rd from the executive officers of the exhibit association telling us that we would not have room for our show," says Nancy Jones, who's been chair of the show for the past 10 years.
The show is open to people too young or too old for 4-H.
"We have around 500 entries every year and last time we exhibited there were close to 200 people exhibiting, so this is a big disappointment," Jones says.
The reason? Space constraints said Fair Board Vice President Jason Hankins.
The show's former location, the Home-Ec building, was torn down during fairground renovations, but Hankins says there's not enough space in the newly built coliseum.
"We're waiting on the old YMCA to be finished and it didn't happen this year, so that kind of reduced the amount of space we had for these projects and with that, unfortunately, we had to make some decisions and, of course, the kids come first," he says.
But Jones says a common misconception is that the show is only open to seniors. And she says the new fairgrounds should have room for a time-honored tradition.
"This is just not for old people. It's for our little kids who come in and decorate cupcakes ... I think that in this new facility there should have been someplace that we could have had our show," she says.
The Home and Family Arts Open Show has been running since the 1980s. Hankins says the fair board is working to ensure space is available for the show next year.