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Potential buyer eyes the Wadena County Fairgrounds

A bit of flooding overtakes a portion of road in the Wadena County Fairgrounds Tuesday morning. The Commercial Building and Horse Barn are some of the newer buildings on site since the tornado destruction in 2010. The horse barn gets extra use as a school bus garage in the off season. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Who wants to buy it and what they want to do with it is not being revealed yet, but the possibility of the Wadena County Fairgrounds being sold is being discussed.

A meeting at Karvonen Funeral Home in Wadena was set to discuss the topic at 7 p.m. April 2.

An email coming out from the Wadena County 4H department expressed that the Wadena County Ag Society has been approached by an organization to consider the possibility of selling the current fairgrounds.

"While there are two trains of thought on this, the outcome will be positive either way—we either stay at our current home where we continue to make improvements or we get to be a part of history, helping to redesign and rebuild what will be the Wadena County Fairgrounds for centuries to come," Virginia Hendrickx, 4H program director, wrote an email to a number of fair board members, staff and volunteers. "Regardless of the outcome of this, the 2019 Wadena County Fair will remain at our current location off of Highway 10."

The topic of the sale of the property came up in closed session during a regular county commission meeting this winter. As it was a closed session, board members didn't openly discuss the topic.

Commissioner Bill Stearns said he planned to listen in on the topic at this April 2 meeting. Hendrickx said she did not know any of the details but looked forward to hearing more and having some questions answered at the upcoming meeting.

Wadena County Fair Board President Bryan Wegscheid said he did not know much about the situation or who the potential buyer was. He said the decision to sell would be up to county commissioners.

"We're just a leaf on the ground," Wegscheid said of the Ag Society's involvement. "I'm going to know as much as anybody else that attends that meeting."

He said with what limited information was available, he could not say how he felt about the news.

The Wadena County Fair celebrated 125 years in 2018. A number of the main buildings on site were erected following the destruction caused by a 2010 tornado.

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