NORWICH – A day spent at the fair this summer might appear brighter with new bleachers at the grandstand and a fresh coat of paint on many of the animal barns.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Mary Weidman, president of the Chenango County Agricultural Society. The not-for-profit society, which owns the 35-acre fairgrounds and is unaffiliated with Chenango County governmental operations, has been overhauling the property for the past 20 years.
It began with new restroom facilities about 10 years ago, followed by a water line project, half of which was completed in 2003. Last year, the grandstand received a new roof.
This year, it’s new bleachers and a diamond-plated floor for the grandstand. An $85,000 grant awarded the association from the Follett Foundation in April enabled the project to begin, Weidman said. Aluminum was chosen for the seats instead of wood for maintenance purposes. Moreover, their lighter weight could mean more seating capacity, pending fire code inspections. The current capacity is 1,820.