New building opens just in time for fair

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Red Willow County residents are proud of their community, and it shows.

People, from infants to the elderly, are our most important asset, of course, but our pride is most easily demonstrated by the investment we make in new facilities, from schools to churches, municipal buildings and other facilities.

Taxpayers haven't shied away from paying their fair share, i.e. the McCook Municipal Center and Red Willow County Law Enforcement Center, although some would question the way the latter was built without direct approval of the voters.

But look around and you'll see many buildings which were built through the generosity of individuals, such as many building on the McCook Community College campus.

The same is true on the Red Willow County fairgrounds, home to three new buildings donated by McCook-area rancher Tom Kiplinger.

A McCook Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting is 10 a.m. Friday at the new Alice Kiplinger Building, named for Tom's late mother, on the fairgrounds at West Fifth and O in McCook.

The 130 x 130, 16,900 square-foot building, houses a warm-up arena and multi-purpose space that joins the Trudy Arena built in 2011 and the 42,000 square-foot Kiplinger Arena built in 2003.

The Kiplinger Arena has been an unqualified success, hosting events almost every weekend and bringing millions of dollars to town.

The building was built using money from the Tom and Alice Kiplinger Endowment Fund, a revocable trust created in 2013 to operate and maintain the Kiplinger complex into perpetuity, financed by the sale of agricultural land that Kiplinger donated to the county and the county sold in late 2013.

While the Kiplinger buildings are busy most weekends, they'll be absolutely hopping for the next couple of weeks with the Red Willow County Fair.

The new Alice building will host a wine tasting 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 23, and dog shows Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26, as well as other events.

This year's carnival is Moore's Greater Shows, opening 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and closed Sunday; wristbands good for one night at the fair for $20, available through Monday, July 20.

Other highlights include the 4-H performing Arts Showcase & Fashion Show 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 17 at McCook Christian Church; shooting sports Saturday and Sunday at the city firing range, Republican River Valley Event Center and fairgrounds; 4-H Trap Shoot 5:30 Monday, July 20 at the Gun Club McCook Airport Road; a food show and culinary challenge 4 p.m. Wednesday July 22 at 4 p.m. and the Coyote Country Music Showdown at 6:30 p.m.; kids tractor pull 5 p.m. Thursday, July 23 and full-size tractor pull at 6 p.m., with the wine tasting at the Alice Building at 7 p.m.

Friday, July 24, includes a beer garden by Club paradise at 7 p.m., concerts by Curtis Grimes at 8:30 p.m. and Logan Mize at 10:30 p.m. at the Kiplinger; a 5K run 8 a.m. Saturday, July 25; mutton busting at 4 p.m. and the NSRA Rodeo at 8 p.m.

Cowboy Church kicks off Sunday, July 26 at 10 a.m. at the Kiplinger Arena; a draft horse competition is 12:30 p.m. at the Kiplinger Arena, and the NSRA Rodeo is 8 p.m.

This year's fair brochure advises "Summer's Short Play Hard!"

That's both a true observation and good advice. Taking in the Red Willow County Fair, and enjoying the new buildings, is one way to do just that.

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