Jacksonville Rotary Club celebrating centennial with gifts to fairgrounds

By Gary Scott on August 6, 2017 at 10:52am

Driving by the Morgan County Fairgrounds, it is clear to see the newly dedicated and reinvigorated sign there. But the sign is just the beginning of a bigger project by the Jacksonville Rotary Club.

Rotarian Allen Stare said the sign is really the tip of the iceberg.

“We approached the Morgan County Fair Board about doing a performance base and a courtyard area between that building and the grandstand. There’s that open space when you walk through there out of the building that’s normally the beer tent and go into the grandstand. That area is what’s going to become our centennial courtyard. That is really the big part of the centennial project. The sign with the LED (lighting) on the front of it was a part of that and it just happened to be something that was finished first.”

Stare said the Jacksonville Rotary Club is taking on the project in celebration of its 100 year anniversary in the spring. He said it has been a custom of century — or 100 year clubs, to do a big project in their community to celebrate the centennial.

The centennial courtyard will be used primarily during the county fair season, but Stare said it could have some other uses too.

“Jacksonville Rotary has kind of established themselves as the host of Octoberfest every fall. Coming up September 30th (is) Octoberfest for 2017, and we are hoping to — once this (project) is done — be able to make use of that courtyard as a part of Octoberfest as well.”

The new LED sign at the fairgrounds is up and running. The groundbreaking for the centennial courtyard is slated for the fall.