Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 20, 2018

Vandals damage fairgrounds

Fair board gets lead on likely culprits
By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | May 07, 2018

Vandals damaged a number of buildings early Sunday morning at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bart Richmond said the vandalism included damage to a stall in the women’s restroom, a wood planter being broken, a broken box fan in one of the restrooms and a missing box fan from the other.

Tables were thrown out of the announcer’s booth on the grandstand, and wood was pulled off one of the buildings near the 4-H brick backstop for county fair photos. A wooden carved statue – a memorial with a 4-H emblem in the middle – was broken, too.

“They broke a lot of stuff that was uncalled for,” said Jefferson County Fair board president Steve Fritchen. “I don’t have much tolerance for vandalism.”

The damage was caused sometime between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday after the quad races finished in the grandstand. Fritchen knows it was between those two times because he was at the fairgrounds until about 12:30 a.m. and saw no vandalism. The cleaning lady arrived at 6:30 a.m. and informed Fritchen of the damage.

The race was organized by Midwest Extreme Dirt Track Racing of Sikeston, Missouri. Quad races are the sort of thing that would normally be during the county fair, though Fritchen said the organizer of this race has made a habit of coming in May, which he’s done the past four years.

Fritchen said he’s never seen vandalism on this scale at any event at the fairgrounds.

“It just takes a couple bad apples to ruin the basket,” he said.

Luckily, he has a lead on who the culprits are.

The fair board put a request out on social media for information about the vandals, and by Sunday afternoon people had come forward. Fritchen said that, based on the information, he believes the culprits participated in the race, though they were not from the Midwest EDT Racing group.

Fritchen will meet with the sheriff’s office today to discuss the information he received. He said the vandalized buildings should be repaired by the time the Greater Jefferson County Fair starts. The fair is from June 25-July 2.

“We’ll be up and ready to roll by fair time with smiley faces,” Fritchen said.

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