We're pleased to see that several improvements at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds will greet fairgoers this August. As the fair grows in size and the community's needs change, so even the traditional fairgrounds must make adjustments.

In addition, the fairgrounds is about far more than the county fair - it virtually serves as the community's convention center, hosting events throughout the year from the crab races to local businesses' expos. The renovations will enhance the fairgrounds' ability to host these and many other non-fair events.

Highlighting the improvements now underway are:

?New main entrance - A stage at the entryway that created congestion will be moved, freeing up space. A childrens' play area also will be placed near the entry.

?Outdoor horse arena - Complementing the indoor horse arena, the outdoor facility will allow for round robin competitions for horse and other livestock shows.

?Bandshell amphitheater - This will become the new stage for fair entertainment as the one at the main entrance is removed. It could be used for concerts and theatrical events throughout the year.

Many of these improvements could not be made without the support of local businesses and volunteers. In many cases, businesses are underwriting the cost of materials while local residents are handling the actual construction. We applaud those businesses and volunteers for their efforts. Their generosity will ensure not only that the county fair is a better experience for fairgoers but that events for local residents to attend and that attract tourists during the rest of the year also will be improved.

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