LIMA — Longtime fairgoers can expect to see the Allen County Fairgrounds in a whole new light, due to the installation of LED lighting. The lighting upgrade and expansion were part of more than $216,000 in capital improvements, said general manager Bob Fricke.
More than 100 mercury-vapor lamps were replaced with ones that use energy-efficient LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, and 25 new light poles with LED lamps were installed in Roschman Park and other shadowy areas of the grounds, he said.
“LEDs are a differrent kind of light,” he said of the change. “There’s no yellow in it; it’s a very clear light. At night, it’s gonna be nice.”
Other capital enhancements include a free WiFi network that will now cover the entire fairgrounds and not just the buildings, which got WiFi service last year. And the fair’s purchase of three 50-foot long mobile bleacher units will add 828 seats to the grandstand.
It’s an important improvement for a fair that saw a record 209,000 attendees last year, an increase of 10 percent from 2014, said Fricke.
For the first time, the fair will offer free shuttle service. Three carts, operated by senior living management company HCF, will run between the North Parking Lot and Gate A, and from Gate A to the Gospel Tent.
“It’s for the elderly, for anyone in need, even a kid who wants to hop on and save the legs,” said Fricke.
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or on Twitter, @lima_eddings.