EATON — There is a new rabbit show pavilion in use at the Preble County Fair. While in past years exhibitors have shown under a tent, this year they have a building of their own to add to the two existing rabbit barns.
Best of all, the fairgrounds and county did not pay for this building — the rabbit clubs banded together to fund raise enough money.
“The new building was built with money we raised as a committee and the generous donation of an individual in the county,” Matt Lunsford, who is the President of the Adult Advisor Committee, said. “The equipment inside was paid for with funds raised, it didn’t cost the fairgrounds any money. The Pork Festival also helped with transformer equipment for the building.
“The lights in the building were designed specifically to see the faults in the fur when they’re on,” Lunsford said. “It will also, by the end of September, have WiFi in it. There is a brand new speaker system in it, and actually the speaker system has been upgraded in all the barns and they are all connected. So everything that is broadcast goes into every single barn and it is the top of the line speaker system you can have, which is again, something that was paid for with funds we raised.”
As for why the rabbit clubs wanted a new show pavilion, Lunsford said, “It basically replaces the old tent here. We put something more permanent. We’re also hosting fundraising shows, we have a major fundraising event in March. One of those things that you will use to pull in more breeds to show with you is facilities. That’s what we’ve used it for.
“We’ve already had our first fundraising this past March and that was its very first show,” he said. “We’ve also had a sheep show in here. Now this will be the first Junior Fair show, but all that money will go back to the kids. To raise money for the pavilion we did rabbit shows through the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). It is a paid event, so every person who comes in will pay money to enter their rabbits. It’s not like a Junior Fair show where it doesn’t cost you any money.
“We’ve taken that money in conjunction with the Fair Board, then we would run the money through their office and they would put it into an account for us and they kept track of us for it. We had the Fair Board’s cooperation on the project as well. This is the end result,” Lunsford added.
As for the reaction from the public to the new show pavilion, Lunsford said it has been positive. “We can actually turn fans on at this end and it’s actually 20 degrees cooler inside the building then it will be outside,” he said. “Lights come on at night. That’s something that our private donor was a big part of. It’s easier for handicap accessible people to roll wheelchairs and walkers. This all used to be rock, so it wasn’t so easy to walk on. It’s easier to get people in here to watch. This is the kids’ first time showing in it, so they’re excited.
“We would like to thank our very generous donor and the fair grounds, fair board, and the Pork Festival. Also, all the people who came to our rabbit shows to help give us money,” he said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683=4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH