Flooding alters flow of fairgoers

This map of the Winfield Fairgrounds shows the changes made to the layout for the 2019 Cowley County Fair due to problems created by the spring flooding.

People looking forward to the Cowley County Fair need to know some changes have been made to layout and traffic this year after the area flooded twice in May.

“They’re changes brought on by Mother Nature,” said fairground supervisor Rick Meyer. Fair board members gathered Friday to discuss the changes.

Camping

There will be no camping or parking in the west campground during the fair. Typically lots of fair participants, including 4-H members and their families, camp there. Because of the flooding, the area has recently been reseeded and needs to be left empty so the grass can get a good hold on the soil again. 

Camping will be in the Pecan Grove, south of the fairground on W. 14th Ave., and in the fairground itself east of the horse barn. 

Parking will be in the area east of the grandstand and the midway all the way to the dike and up against the W. 19th Ave. road bed.

Entry into the fairground from West Ninth Avenue will be limited to the east entrance. Everyone bringing items to Barn 4 — Open Class and 4-H — from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, will enter there. Field Station Dinosaurs of Derby is providing carts that people can use to take items to Barn 4. 

The west entrance to the fairground on W. Ninth Ave. will be closed. The carnival will be at the foot of that entrance as usual. 

Traffic on West 14th Avenue will be slowed because of the foot traffic moving between the Pecan Grove and the fairground. People regularly using the avenue should be prepared for reduced speeds, increased traffic controls and a crosswalk from the Pecan Grove to the fairground.

The West 14th Avenue entrance to the fairground will be open to the west only for handicapped parking and 4-H exhibitors bringing in their livestock and midway vendors. After Aug. 1, fair visitors can enter from West 14th and travel to the east side of the fairgrounds. They can use the Ninth Avenue entrance throughout the fair.

During the fair, 4-H families with golf carts, Gators and SUVs will be able to use them to get food and equipment to their animals between dawn and dusk each day through that west entrance. Drivers must be 16 years of age or older, according to a Winfield city ordinance. 

No parking is available near the barns for the vehicles, so people will need to bring in the food or equipment, take care of the  animals and leave the area.

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