Some members may be aware that Benton County Fairgrounds has been increasingly hostile to our Spring Show. This came to a head last year when they ignored our complaints about the condition of the field (a large portion of the field was unusable because of muddy and rutted conditions) and kept our deposit because they claimed we had trashed their restrooms. This year they have banned tent camping. We have been at the Benton County Fairgrounds for decades, and it is with considerable reluctance that the officers have decided to look for an alternative.
- That alternative is the Marion County Fairgrounds. We have examined the facilities and met with the person responsible for booking their facilities. The offer includes a covered space open on three sides with room for all of our display bikes and vendors as well as a large grass covered area for the display in good weather. The covered area is known as the 4-H Barns. We have marked the barns, parking and grass camping area on the map on the back of this page. There are a number of restrooms and a shower area near the display area.
- The camping area has full RV and electric only hookups and dry camping. The map ( pdf link below) shows you how far from the display area the camping is located. This is frankly the one thing to be concerned about. There is an abundant camping area, and the rates are a little better than Benton County’s. As mentioned above, Benton County has now banned tent camping and will only allow RV camping in the limited number of spaces
- The best news is that Marion County is eager to have us, and they will let us have both the covered area and the grass field for less than Benton County charged us for the grass field only. The bottom line is that we will save hundreds of dollars on the basic charge and not having to pay for porta potties, extra trash cans and what ever other charges Benton County can manage to stick us with.
- I fully endorse the change for 2024. There will be a box at the Spring Show this year for comments, and please feel free to let me know how you feel about this. I will be at the Spring Show and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone is 503.307.9085. If the opposition to this is too strong, we will not make the change, but there is no opportunity to hold a vote of the entire membership. Ultimately the officers will make the decision. If our experience at Marion County is not good, then we can evaluate a return to Benton County or other possibilities.
—Sam Justice, OVM president
2024 OVM Spring Show and Swap Meet
at Marion County Fairgrounds?
Link to downloadable PDFMap of Marion County Fairgrounds: