Mike Heine/The Week
(Published Aug. 27, 2007, 3:03 p.m.)
Despite basement-flooding rains the last week, the Walworth County Fair will still go on as planned. Just with a few less parking spaces.
Soaking rains, which dumped more than 8 inches on Elkhorn since Saturday, Aug. 18, muddied parking lots and caused the closure of 30 percent to 40 percent of the parking spaces in the track infield and the grass lot north of the infield.
The lot outside the main gate is OK, fair officials said.
"We have areas that are soggy and water-logged that we normally use that we will not be able to use. But there is still parking here," said Sue Pruessing, fair marketing director.
Local contractors volunteered their time to pump out standing water in the parking areas Friday and Saturday, working late both nights, said Bob Handel, fair board vice president.
"They're as good as they can be," Handel said of the grass lots. "Certain areas will not be usable. It takes a long time to get rid of as much water as we've had. But with our contingency plan here, we'll be OK."
Extra parking lots will be opened and extra shuttle services will be offered. The shuttles are free and all public parking is free.
Here's the plan:
* Main lot, off Court Street (Highway 11) across from the main gate, is open.
* Infield lot is mostly open. About 30-40 percent will be closed. Enter through the north gate. Lot is preferred for exhibitors and vendors.
* North lot, behind the track, is mostly open, About 30-40 percent will be closed. Enter through the north gate.
* Elkhorn Area High School lot is entirely open. Enter off Geneva Street.
* Elkhorn Middle School lot is entirely open. Enter off Court Street (Highway 11).
* Downtown lots around the county government center (off Court Street and Church Street) are open. Shuttle services provided.
* Downtown lot on Lincoln Street, between Uncle Hunk's Junk and Subway, is open. Shuttle services provided.
* Gateway Technical College lot is open. Shuttle services provided.
* VIP Services lot (the old Value Village), across the street from the high school, is open. Shuttle services provided.
* Wednesday and Thursday: Shuttle to the downtown lot locations from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Pick up and drop off at the main gate.
* Friday: Downtown shuttle from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. to the main gate. Four shuttles from VIP and Gateway lots running same time. Pick up and drop off at the Elkhorn Area High School gate entrance.
* Saturday and Sunday: Downtown shuttle from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. to the main gate. Four shuttles from VIP and Gateway from noon until 11 p.m. to the high school. Two shuttles from VIP and Gateway 11 p.m. until midnight.
* Monday: Downtown shuttle from 1 p.m. until 10 p.m. to the main gate. Four shuttles from VIP and Gateway from noon until 9 p.m. to the high school. Two shuttles from VIP and Gateway from 9 p.m. until 10 p.m.
* Roadside parking regulations in downtown will not change for the fair, Police Chief Joel Christensen said. Follow the posted signs. Officers will be ticketing violators.
* Carnival setup got started late, but all rides and food stands should be open, Handel said. The grounds in the midway were wet, but have dried out enough to get the rides set up. All of the fair buildings are dry and in good working order. No events have been cancelled or changed.
* The extended forecast for Elkhorn looks good, according to the National Weather Service.
Wednesday should be in the upper 70s. Thursday and Friday will be in mid 70s and the holiday weekend should be in the lower 80s. No rain is in the forecast, said Bill Borghoff, meteorologist intern.
"Later this week and this weekend, the humidity should drop. It should feel comfortable," Borghoff said.
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