By Joe Tash
At the 22nd District Agricultural Association meeting Dec. 11, Tim Fennell, fairgrounds general manager, updated the board on the Valitar equestrian show, which closed abruptly in November, leaving ticket holders, performers and horses in the lurch. The show had leased a section of the fairgrounds parking lot to erect a huge red tent to house the show, which still has not been removed in the wake of the show’s closure.
Fennell said a benefit show last weekend raised $58,000 to help pay for the show’s stranded performers to get home.
22nd DAA board president Adam Day said the district and its food service contractor received deposits of $130,000 and $50,000, respectively, so neither of the entities is facing financial losses as a result of the show’s closure.
But an open question remains as to who will remove the complex of tents, which belong to the show’s producer. Research by district staff indicates removal costs for the tents will range from $300,000 to $500,000, Day said.
The district may even seek to keep some of the smaller tents for use in future events, Day said. The board was scheduled to discuss the situation in a closed session following its regular meeting.
“My No. 1 priority is to get that tent removed,” Day said.