State fair grounds for moving?

Nevada state fair officials may be mulling a move to Carson City.

Talks are "very preliminary," but City Manager John Berkich said state fair representatives contacted city officials with a "conceptual, what if" idea.

"We've heard of that possibility, but there's just been some dialogue," Berkich said. "Carson City is open to the idea, but we need something more firm from the state fair."

Carson City officials tried to court the state fair to the capital in 1997, but fair officials opted to stay at their 43-acre Reno site.

Gary Lubra, fair chief executive officer, said the fair board of directors hasn't discussed moving, but individual board members have mentioned the idea.

Larry Pedrett, a Carson Valley fair board member, said Carson would "be nice for the state fair." Fair officials have been approached by Clark and Humboldt county officials asking to relocate the fair to their counties.

"I think the state fair belongs in the capital city," Pedrett said. "There isn't much opportunity to do much in Reno."

Pedrett said the current city fairgrounds are too small to host the fair, but the state fair may be interested in Carson City if the fairgrounds were to move. Before the fair could move, officials would have to gauge community support

"We're still talking," he said. "We're a long way off yet."

Both Pedrett and Lubra said only having five days of fair a year is a constraint for the self-funded organization.

"Obviously, we can't grow," Lubra said. "We can only do one event a year. We have to make enough in that event to stay afloat for the rest of the year.

"If somebody wants to adopt us, we'd be happy to go someplace."

Lubra said no other event showcases Nevada like the state fair, which is Aug. 22-26 this year. It's an event which highlights the state's agriculture heritage, as well as one offering programs for Nevada youth interested in agriculture.

Moving to a larger location would allow more events through the year, Lubra said.


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