Fairground Facelift finalists

Grinnell Mutual announces finalists for 2021 Fairground Facelift grants

Vote for a Fairground Facelift project

Fairground improvement projects from 15 county fairgrounds in 10 states are finalists in Grinnell Mutual’s 2021 Fairground Facelift promotion. Grinnell Mutual will distribute a total of $7,500 to six winners to help local fairgrounds bring their improvement projects to life. The winners will be chosen by the public, who will vote for their favorite project on Grinnell Mutual’s website.

"We understand the importance of local fairgrounds in communities. Fairgrounds provide a place for community members to gather," said Grinnell Mutual Director of Advertising and Community Relations Barb Baker. “The Fairground Facelift grant is Grinnell Mutual's way to help local fairgrounds improve and maintain current facilities."

Since the program began in 2014, Grinnell Mutual has distributed nearly $40,000 in Fairground Facelift funds to fairgrounds across the Midwest.

Learn more about Fairground Facelift Fairground Facelift Official Rules Fairground Facelift FAQ Vote for a Fairground Facelift project

Learn about the Fairground Facelift finalists

  • Boone County Fairgrounds, Boone, Iowa — Rabbit barn: Improvements to the rabbit barn, including upgrading the electrical and adding insulation. “The current electrical system trips circuit breakers,” said project sponsor Jessi Heyer.
  • Cass County Fairgrounds, Pine River, Minn. — Stage and bandshell replacement: Build a new outdoor stage and bandshell for use by the fair and the community. “The stage is used for the fair as well as for many events in the community, including local festivals, 4-H events, and concerts,” said project sponsor Teri McAllister.
  • Central Iowa Fairgrounds, Marshalltown, Iowa — Pavilion repairs: Repaint the pavilion which was damaged in the Aug. 10, 2020 derecho. “The pavilion is the heart of the fairgrounds,” said project sponsor Jodi Breniman. “Other repairs are in progress, but repainting the building will make it more attractive.”
  • Cooper County Fairgrounds, Boonville, Mo. — Pavilion sound system: Purchase equipment for playing music and sharing announcements at events. “The pavilion does not have a sound system which makes it difficult to communicate with exhibitors and the public,” said project sponsor Cindy Imhoff.
  • Dickey County Fairground, Ellendale, N.D. — Livestock show ring: Build a show ring with a roof for protection from the elements. “Youth exhibitors have succumbed to heat stroke while showing livestock,” said project sponsor Breana Kiser. “Also, some shows have been cancelled or postponed due to rain.”
  • Emmet County Agricultural Show, Estherville, Iowa — Snack Shack eating area: Build a shaded picnic table area with a back kitchen to replace the current 60-year-old food shed. “The current shed is old and beyond repair,” said project sponsor Jennie Knudson. “The floor is warped and uneven, the door opening is not accessible to all, and skunks and other animals have burrowed under the shed.”
  • Grant County Fairgrounds, Herman, Minn. — Rewire creative arts building: Replace outdated electrical wiring. “The electrical wiring in the building dates back to the 1950s,” said project sponsor Nicole Sumstad. “Upgraded electrical could help increase the number of exhibits and exhibitors while keeping the lights on and guests cool.”
  • Judith Basin County Fairgrounds, Stanford, Mont. — Wash rack for livestock: Build a wash rack for livestock. “The fairgrounds have approximately twenty feet of concrete with four water outlets for all of the kids and their livestock to share,” said project sponsor Heather Dye.
  • Kiowa County Fairgrounds, Hobart, Okla. — Install ventilation: The facility has been identified as one that can be used as a dispersal point for emergencies. “Funds from this program would be used to add ventilation to our fairgrounds. We have been making improvements to our facility, but we have no way to efficiently move air through the area,” said project sponsor Michael Dooley.
  • Lehigh County Agriculture Society, Allentown, Pa. — Tree beautification: Trim dead and diseased branches from trees on the fairgrounds. “While the trees beautify the fairgrounds, some branches have fallen onto bleachers and buildings, creating a safety hazard,” said project sponsor Daryl Urmy.
  • Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Lennox, S.D. — Show-ring bleachers: Purchase two sets of aluminum bleachers for the show ring. “Bleachers will provide seating for people attending events,” said project sponsor Chad Hazel.
  • McHenry County Fair Association Fairground, Woodstock, Ill. — ADA-compliant bathrooms: Make the fairgrounds more accessible by installing permanent ADA-compliant bathroom facilities. “The fairgrounds not only hosts the county fair, but dozens of other events through the year,” said project sponsor Richard Tobiasz. “It has no permanent ADA-compliant bathroom facilities.”
  • Miami County Fairgrounds, Troy, Ohio, — Horse-arena improvements: Repair dilapidated bleacher seating in the horse arena and upgrade the sound system in the announcer’s booth. “The fairgrounds hosts several horse shows, but the bleachers often sit empty because of their poor condition,” said project sponsor Tracy Andrews. “Their paint is peeling, they bounce when you walk on them, and flying insects invade them, harassing anyone sitting there. The sound system will make it possible to hear the announcer when exhibitors are back in the horse barn.”
  • Osage County Fairgrounds, Linn, Mo. — Lay concrete in the swine/sheep exhibit barn: Install of a drainage system and concrete floor in the barn, which will help the pigs resist the temptation to wallow in the mud. “Every year, Osage County Fairground exhibitors fight mud and muck in the swine/sheep exhibit barn,” said project sponsor Christine Rieke.
  • Shelby County Fairgrounds, Shelbyville, Ill. — Bathroom improvements: Replace rotted bathroom walls and floors. “These are the only permanent bathroom facilities at the fairgrounds,” said project sponsor Donald Telgmann.

How to vote

Support your favorite fairground improvement project by voting. Anyone can visit Grinnell Mutual’s Facebook page or website to vote for project finalists. Select the voting link and follow the instructions on screen. People can vote once every 24 hours.

The top vote-getter will receive a $3,000 grant. The two projects with the next-highest votes will each receive a $1,500 grant. The three projects with next-highest votes will receive $500 grants.

Voting ends Sept. 2, at 3 p.m. CT.


Learn more about Fairground Facelift Fairground Facelift Official Rules Fairground Facelift FAQ Vote for a Fairground Facelift project