An Open Letter from the Stoughton Fair Association to All Fair Supporters
On Tuesday, August 22nd 2023, members of the Stoughton Fairboard were presented with the latest revised plan for Mandt Park. The latest plan does not reflect changes we were hopeful and expecting to see. The Stoughton Fair needs your voice to advocate for the future of the Stoughton Fair. The time is now, as we are running out of time.
The Fairboard recognizes that updates and a face-lift to the grounds are needed; well-planned changes would propel us forward into our upcoming Centennial anniversary. Over the past three years, Fair representatives have held numerous meetings with the Mayor, Parks and Recreation Director, and various City Council Members. Significant time has been invested in these conversations by our volunteer board. Unfortunately, the latest plan does not sufficiently address the primary areas of concern we've laid out.
First and foremost, the Fair’s lease has a very limited term and provides no securities or protections to the Fair. A new lease with a significantly longer term and greater protections will be required for the type of financial planning necessary. The Fair requests sensible lease terms and expanded limits on use of the space to bring more regional events to Stoughton.
During the past three years, since the Mandt Master Plan was adopted, fair representatives and supporters have been appealing to City officials for the updated lease and specific modifications so that the Fair can continue to be accommodated at Mandt Park. The following two (2) key issues remain unaddressed in the latest plan:
A roadway around the grounds is critical infrastructure for safe and manageable traffic patterns. The safe transport of livestock in and out of the grounds, in addition to the heavy traffic flows from semi trailers and the thousands of attendees who are visiting the Fair each day, rely on a single one-way road around the grounds. A safe and sufficient roadway around the grounds continues to be absent from the latest plan.
Space utilized by the Midway is being displaced by multiple blacktop parking lots for use by the Whitewater Park. These lots include retention ponds and result in a net of lost space for the midway, which directly impacts revenue to the Fair. This also places the ability to offer a Midway carnival at-risk . A proposal to relocate the Midway to another location on the ground is represented on the plan but does not account for the current uses of those spaces in the near term.
The Stoughton Fairboard is appealing to each exhibitor and supporter of the Stoughton Fair to make your voice heard.
Share with family and friends. Tell people why the Stoughton Fair is so special and educate others on the current situation with the City .
Contact the City. Call/email or write Mayor Tim Swadley and City Council Members and urge them to work with the Fair and adopt the two requested changes to the plan and update the lease as soon as possible.
Contact us to be added to our distribution list. or with any questions.
Thank you for your consideration,
The Stoughton Fair Association
Phase 1 : Mandt Park Master Plan
Phase 1 is set to begin immediately following the 98th Annual, 2024 Stoughton Fair. Primary impacts to the Fair:
- Mandt Parkway inlet ends at a parking lot/turn around spot, displacing the animal wash racks.
- 120 Parking Spots and 'Paddler Parking' lots are installed, with curbs and water retention ponds between, displacing/limiting the carnival.
Mandt Park FINAL PLAN
This final plan lacks specific timelines, which is problematic for immediate needs like where our wash racks will go, and use of the new midway space. This could be weeks or years later.
Primary impacts to the Fair include:
- Barns will be reconfigured to a corner of the grounds. This will require many years of planning.
- Grandstand is shifted, pull track remains the same length but is relocated.
- Pickleball courts and other park structures are gone and a new midway/greenspace exists.
Below is a current map of the Fairground, representing current utilization.