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Fair eliminates handicap parking at grandstand
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Breaking from a long-standing tradition, handicap parking will no longer be allowed at the Warren County A&L Fair around Grandstand Arena.
Due to a policy change that goes into effect this year, no handicap parking will be allowed inside the fair gates anywhere on the grounds.
“It’s a safety issue,” said fair board member Regan Kelsey, who oversees parking. “What we want to emphasize is we’re not eliminating handicap spots, we’re just relocating them. We want people who come to the fair to be able to walk around, have a good time, and not worry about getting hit by a car.”
In previous years, people with a handicap parking placard would be allowed to drive through the main entrance and either park inside the horse ring or around it.
Kelsey said despite the fact there is heavy pedestrian traffic in that area, some motorists would drive fast to get to their parking spot. This only invites an accident, Kelsey says.
“We know we’ve had some close calls in the past and we’ve been fortunate nothing has happened,” said Kelsey, who witnessed a near accident last year in front of the chicken barn.
The fair will still be in compliance with ADA guidelines and have as many handicap parking spaces as ever. However, none of the handicap spaces will be inside the fair gates.
One handicap parking section located off Pike Hill Road will give visitors quick access to the midway. Another area is located near the Boyd Christian School food booth and will give visitors easy access to concessions.
Relocating handicap parking also has another benefit. Kelsey says it will free up space formerly used for parking and allow for more booth rentals.
“We’re a free fair so we really have to save up to get a big-name entertainer like John Anderson,” said Kelsey. “If we can get a little more money from booth rentals in that area, it will help.”
The fair opens next Friday with a goat show. Carnival rides begin Monday, Sept. 12, which is the same night as Fairest of the Fair.