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Juneau Co. Fair officials optimistic but unsure about grandstand events after tornado damage

The fate of the Juneau County Fair grandstand is undetermined two days after a tornado damaged the infrastructure.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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MAUSTON, Wis. (WMTV) - The fate of the Juneau County Fair grandstand is undetermined two days after a tornado damaged the infrastructure.

The grandstand could be a total loss, but Juneau County Agriculture Society Vice President Heidi Finucan said she’s hopeful the show can go on.

“Truly it’s a blessing that this was all,” Finucan said. “It could’ve been the entire grounds that were gone.”

Without the grandstand they cannot host the rodeo, demolition derby or concerts typically put on during the Juneau County Fair.

“There are some community members that have already stepped up and offered other areas and options that we might have to utilize and put together for the grandstand type of events,” she said. “But we’ll figure it out.”

The tornado also smashed through the ticket booth and all that remains of that small building are wooden pieces on the ground.

Heidi’s organization leases the fairgrounds from the Juneau County Agricultural Industrial Recreational Society or JCAIR.

Patrick “Mick” McCormick is a JCAIR member and lifelong Juneau County resident. McCormick said there’s not enough information to determine how the fair will proceed. He shared that an insurer and an architectural engineer will assess the grandstand next week to determine if the structure is a total loss or if it can be salvaged and safely used.

McCormick spoke optimistically about the fair happening in August.

“We have time,” he said. “We have a very supportive community and people get involved and things get done.”

“I think regardless we will still put together something of a fair. Grandstand events aren’t the only thing in the fair,” Finucan said. “What really makes the fair is the community coming together. The kids that are exhibiting to showcase what the Juneau County area has to offer in the agricultural industry that we have here.”

The animal showroom buildings located on the fairgrounds were not damaged during the tornado.

The fair is scheduled to run August 14-21.

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