A nearly ninety year old grandstand at the Lincoln County fairgrounds is being demolished, and the timing has some concerned. It's happening just one week before the fair.
"The fair really is the social gathering of Merrill and Lincoln county of the year," said Dale Christiansen, the fair board chairman.
This year things will look a little different during the annual occasion. The staple grandstand, which each year is filled by a crowd eager to watch the demolition derby and other entertainment, will be gone.
"The grandstand means a lot to the community," Christiansen said.
Two weeks ago, a strong storm did a number on the aging grandstand. The east wall was torn off, and according to the county's administrative coordinator, Randy Scholz, there were already concerns with the long term structural integrity of the building.
The Public Property Committee voted to tear it down, but that's concerning Christiansen, who has a fair to run.
"It's gonna be such a big change from what we've had and until we get to the point where the bleachers are put in place we're not exactly sure what we'll be dealing with."
The grandstand will be replaced with temporary bleachers, so the entertainment can go on as scheduled.
Now workers will scramble to get the structure down, clean up the mess, and bring in the bleachers.
"We'll have it cleaned up, the highway department's coming in Monday, putting the gravel down and leveling it..make sure the stands can be put in, and they're coming in on Tuesday," Scholz said.
There won't be as much seating available, but ticket prices will be the same.
The county is looking at options to build a new grandstand.
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