Community View | Fairgrounds change, but not for the better

As we begin making plans for the Kingman Cancer Unit’s 48th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair we would like to share what we encountered from last year working with Mohave County after they took over the fairgrounds.

Their communication with our fair committee was less than acceptable.

We weren’t informed in a timely manner that Building C wasn’t available, but the county had used it for two of their employees’ use for five months and during their own Mohave County Fair.

The electricity down the center of the other three buildings was no longer available for use and we weren’t aware of that until three weeks before our fair. They also needed more insurance coverage for some of our vendors. This requirement at the last minute was very distressful. We have always just had to show our insurance policy and there were no problems with certain vendors needing their own insurance.

When we went to set up we were told that we would have to put up the curtain dividers ourselves. The curtains were always in place when we arrived.

We were never told this beforehand so there we are, volunteers, 70-plus years old, trying to put up the curtains. We had no ladders or tools; a risk management nightmare. Again, at the end of our fair, we were told we needed to take down the dividers. One of the long poles fell and hit a vendor dismantling a booth. Nobody was hurt, but another disaster averted.

The condition of the buildings and grounds was dirty. We had to clean up many of these areas so our vendors and customers would have a safe and clean environment at our fair.

Since the county supervisors decided to take over the fairgrounds it has been one indecision after another. This has been going on for almost two years and they are no closer to getting a new location. We are not the only group that has been impacted by their decisions but we can only speak for ourselves.

We have been looking for another location but unfortunately there just isn’t another site large enough to accommodate our needs. We have put down our deposit for this year’s fair with the hope they will make some improvements but now we find out they have removed the $2.5 million for renovations from this year’s budget.

We are just asking the board of supervisors before they make decisions that impact their constituents that they have a plan, know what direction they are going in and then inform those that will be affected by their decisions.

For 47 years we have been providing financial help to cancer patients in our community and surrounding area and for 46 of those years we have rented the fairgrounds for our only fundraiser of the year. This year, we did need some help and we would have appreciated some support from our two supervisors and the county manager if nothing more than a call to say there was nothing that could be done.

(Claire Crum is the president of the Kingman Cancer Care Unit Board of Directors.)

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