Grandstand turns 100
Fairgrounds continue to be upgraded and enhanced

Wanda English Burnett - Editor

It’s party time and you’re invited!

The grandstand at the Ripley County Fairground Park in Osgood has withstood the test of time and with upkeep and some repair, will be 100 years old this year. Originally built in 1907 the massive structure has seated thousands of spectators over the years.

A celebration to mark this century old structure will be held during this year’s 4-H fair on Friday night, July 27 at 6:00 p.m. where a birthday cake will be served in front of the grandstand.

That’s just one unique feature in the park that can be enjoyed by park goers.

Located in Osgood, the park is open year ‘round offering a variety of things for people to enjoy. A beautiful playground is available for families to enjoy and located by the playground shelters are new barbeque grills, made possible by a grant through the Ripley County Community Foundation. The playground was purchased by grant money from the Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation, according to Park Manager, Julie Brancamp.

Picnic tables recently purchased through the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (Recycled Product Purchase Grant) now enhance the park. “We’re working on another grant for additional picnic tables,” noted Brancamp.

The picnic area along with the buildings are available to hold reunions, receptions, meetings and other activities. You can reserve the facility by calling 812-689-6535.

The park board members have been working hard to upgrade and enhance the facility that is open to all. Present board members are: Bill Neal Jr., president, Melvin Meisberger, vice-president, Edwin Hunter, Douglas Thayer, and Warren Bruns. Eudora Henthorn serves as secretary and Ron Gecks is the caretaker.

Of course the 4-H Fair set for July 21-28 this year is the big event held annually at the park. However, other groups are coming in and finding the spacious, well-kept grounds perfect for their event. This year the F.A.R.M. Club held their annual show for the first time in Osgood. The Christmas Wonderland, set for December 1 and 2 from 6-9 p.m. features all the scenes of the season and is complete with Santa’s arrival on a fire truck.

The grandstand events include racing of all sorts and tractor pulls. The park has a nice horse barn that can be rented for various events by calling the park manager.

The Ripley County Chamber of Commerce holds their annual family night at the fairground park on July 3. There are a variety of vendors, games, stage entertainment topped by a grand finale of fireworks at dusk.

The facility continues to improve as grants are obtained. New are baby changing tables and safety seats, compliments of the RCCF Frank Tarter Trust grant; new concrete has been installed at the multi purpose building through grants from the Rising Sun Regional Foundation and the Gilmore and Golda Reynolds Foundation, and a new sidewalk by Building #12 makes walking easier thanks to a grant from the Reynolds Foundation.

An additional 6.25 acres has been obtained by the park, expanding opportunities on the west side of the existing property.

A spectacular showmobile free stage is available to rent as well as a food trailer (the trailer can only be used on the park grounds).

Brancamp is proud of the facility and wants families to take advantage of the amenities available. She noted that trees have been planted (Reynolds Foundation grant) and more will be coming. “This is a beautiful park and on behalf of the park board and staff, we appreciate all the help and support from not only the various foundations who have provided the money to enhance the facility, but to the community for their support, volunteers who often do ‘behind the scene’ things, clubs and organizations for their dedication to keep this park going,” she commented.

She concluded, “we couldn’t do it without help from everyone. This park truly belongs to the community.”

For more information or to reserve a building for your event call 812-689-6535, 812-756-0391, or go on-line at and click on parks and recreation.
Pictured is the grandstand at the fairgrounds in the early 1900’s. The grandstand was renovated in the 1990’s and will be 100 years old this year.