By: Melissa E. Holsman, Treasure Coast Newspapers
STUART — The Martin County Fair will celebrate 60 years in Stuart when it opens this year's run Feb. 8, but it also will bid farewell to its longtime location on Dixie Highway, across from Witham Field, according to fair officials.
Next year, if plans go as expected, the fairgrounds will move from its 11.6-acre site and expand to 107 acres north of Citrus Boulevard and east of Indiantown Airport in western Martin County.
The County Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to move forward with relocation plans, which would include extension of water and sewer service to the former orange grove.
The decision comes after decades of talks about relocating to accommodate more people, better attractions and bigger agricultural activities.
Timing is crucial, said Jay Spicer, manager of the Martin County Fair Association, because construction at Witham Field means this is the last year parking will be provided by the airport.
“By fair time 2020, there will be no parking available at the airport," he said, "and we cannot host this event here without parking,”
Spicer commended commissioners for agreeing to move to a larger location.
“It’s very exciting. There have been talks about moving the fairgrounds for more than 30 years, and now we … all have an understanding that this is the right thing for the community,” he said.
“We look at it as an investment in the community. Because what we have designed is 80 percent designed for youth activities.”…