Wednesday, Sept. 23 marked the official end of the Belmont County Fair's occupation of the fairground site in downtown St. Clairsville, as three barns were auctioned. The horse barn, dairy barn and junior beef barn were auctioned to the highest bidders Wednesday evening by auctioneer and fair board member David Jones. The horse barn was purchased for $200, the junior beef barn for $400 and the dairy barn for $2,500.

The money went to the Belmont County Agricultural Society and the St. Clairsville School District.

Belmont County Fair Board President Gerald Campbell said the new, 162-acre site already has four buildings with a fifth that should be up soon. The buildings include three barns, a show arena and a storage building that will be used to house animals during the fair.

Campbell said two of the buildings were purchased with a $70,000 donation by the Belmont Tourism Council. And two more with donations from the Roger Perkins and Dennis Hendershot families.

Efforts to develop the new fairgrounds site have been ongoing for about 15 years. Property off Roscoe Road west of St. Clairsville was donated for the new Belmont County Park and Fairgrounds, and the Belmont County Agricultural Society subsequently purchased adjacent property. The new site is far bigger than the old 27-acre fairgrounds.

"Things are moving along" Campbell said. He said installation of waterlines will begin in October and volunteers as well as board members have been working to help prepare the site.

"We appreciate the support," Campbell said.

Campbell and Jones both reiterated that food vendors will be located near the livestock barns next year and there will not be a food court.

Campbell said vendors were taken on a tour of the new grounds on the Saturday of the recent Belmont County Fair.