The Mandt Park Project will have a negative impact on the Stoughton Fair, possibly ending the fair completely.

According to the plan, the fair barns will be removed and replaced with two new barn/exposition centers that appear to be about the same size. The total area of the current barns is 52,000 sq ft (with no consideration for the land lost around the current barns), so the new buildings will be about 26,000 square feet each.

It appears Stoughton Fair will continue to have the same amount of barn space to house the animals as before, but is that accurately represented by the council and plan?

The New Holland Pavilion at the Alliant Energy Center is a multi-use building that is 90,000 square feet with 7,900 square feet of banquet and reception area (which means food may be served). The barn area (where food cannot be served) has an 800 cattle capacity, covered wash bays and manure storage as well as a milking parlor (needed by fair exhibitors).

The specs of the New Holland Pavilion show about 9% of the building is capable for reception events (events with food). Break that down into our two new barn/exposition centers at Mandt Park at 52,000 total square feet, that’s about a total of 4,800 square feet of reception area between the two buildings, leaving 47,200 square feet of space for barn use based on calculations from a multi use pavilion that is almost twice the size of the two new buildings.

The fair will lose 4,800 square feet of barn space as well as the land around the barns. In addition, the State Veterinarian guidelines for animal shows include the following:

1) House cattle separately from sheep and goats and 2) House swine separately from any other mammals. These guidelines protect animals from transmittable diseases between species of animals. So based on these guidelines, the swine will have to be housed in one building and all other animals will need to be housed in the other building with no housing for sheep and goats.

How does all this not negatively affect the future of the fair?

Visit this community gem June 30th – July 4th to see the animal exhibits and talk to the youth. You’ll see the passion and work they put into their projects, their love for the fair and the importance to ensure the continuation of the Stoughton Fair for future generations.

Cally Ehle

Stoughton