Fair officials: Grounds not public

Published 4:48 am Saturday, April 7, 2018

Officials with the Washington Parish Fair Association are concerned that events have been held recently at the fairgrounds without the notification and permission of the association.

Kay Ladner, the association’s vice president, told The Daily News, “There has been a tremendous amount of people not scheduling for events at the Washington Parish Fairground lately.”

Contrary to popular belief, the Washington Parish Fairgrounds is private property, owned and operated by the Washington Parish Fair Association.

“The Association is not subsidized by any local, parish, or state agency,” Ladner said. “Therefore upkeep and operation is strictly the responsibility of the Fair Association.

“Although we encourage and welcome public use of the grounds and facilities, we must require proper scheduling to avoid conflicts. Therefore, anyone interested in using any part of the fairground must request permission, be put on the calendar of events, and sign the necessary contract for use.

“Because of expenses incurred, we must charge appropriate fees to cover our costs. Therefore, if you want to have an event on the Washington Fair Association property, please contact a member of the association to make the necessary arrangements.”

Ladner said that the association greatly appreciates the assistance of the Town of Franklinton, Washington Parish Government, Washington/St. Tammany Electric, and Rayburn Correctional Institute in the many projects it undertakes to keep the fairgrounds a beautiful and safe place for local residents and visitors to enjoy.

“We’re not trying to discourage the use of the fairgrounds,” she said. “We just want to make everybody aware that we are liable. And you can’t rent a cabin at Bogue Chitto State Park without paying for it.”

Ladner added that there’s been a lot of vandalism at the fairgrounds lately, as well.

“Almost every Monday they have to make repairs on something,” she said.