Jefferson County Fairgrounds seeking possiblities for growth

Manager: Space more than area for annual county fair

PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson County Fairgrounds is expanding its offerings and the manager wants to hear from organizations who want to be involved.

The nonprofit Jefferson County Fair Association, which puts on the county fair and manages the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, has a new vision, aiming to transform the grounds into a youth and family hub for the 362 days a year that the county fair is not taking place, said Danny McEnerney, who took over as full-time manager on June 1.

The Jefferson County Fair will be Aug. 12-14.

“This message has been circulating from the new management and board members, and 100 percent of the time it has been met with, ‘How can I help?’” McEnerney said in a press release.

“There is an immense amount of energy pouring into the 32 acres that make up the fairgrounds,” he said.

Multiple community leaders and organizers are planning to bring events and services to the fairgrounds, the first being a Youth Skate Party in the Erickson Building on July 1.

Tickets are $5 for the two roller skating sessions, which are from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but no one will be turned away for lack of ability to pay the fee. In those cases, the American Legion Post in Port Townsend will bear the cost, according to the Jefferson Fairgrounds website at https://jeffcofairgrounds.com/events/youth-skate-party.

The party is for youth younger than 18 and parents or helpers for those just learning.

Waivers are needed and can be downloaded from the website, where tickets also can be purchased.

Talks are underway with a school co-op that is seeking a more permanent space to host homeschool enrichment classes and after-school programs, McEnerney said.

A new group comprised of youth service agencies, parents, residents and youth will have its second meeting hosted at the fairgrounds at 7 p.m. today, he added.

The county’s 4-H program is just starting back up after the pandemic, McEnerney said, adding that talks of childcare, teen centers, a pump track, roller rink, incubator farm plots, a community kitchen, a youth training kitchen, a renaissance faire, a van conversion festival and a vastly updated campground are a few of the ideas actively being investigated.

“With regard to the fair association’s commitment to agriculture and industry, we are excited to build relationships with every operation in East Jefferson County,” McEnerney said.

“The work has begun, though it will take time. We want farms, educational agencies, product designers and inventors, including individuals and their unique talents, not just represented but supported by the county fair and the fair association.”

McEnerney is available to discuss ideas with those interested in participating.

He can be reached at info@jeffcofairgrounds.com or 360-385-1013.

For more information, see www.jeffcofairgrounds.com.

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