The Kentucky Exposition Center was no overnight success in fact it took six years to complete. this was not due to bad planning on the part of the Kentucky State Fair Board which had purchased 396 acres of land for what was to be called the ‘Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center’ in 1950 for $522,580. In fact, it was the Korean War that caused the delay. The material that was to be used in construction was repurposed for use in the war effort. It was only six years later that the structure was completed – at an inflated cost of around $12m. However, looking at just how much value the Exposition Center brings to Kentucky today it is hard to argue the point that the money was not well spent.
When it first opened for business the Kentucky Exposition Center was recognized as the largest multi-purpose facility in the world. Additional facilities such as a restaurant, golf course, on-site hotel and motor speedway (of all things) put it in a league of its own.
After a competition for naming rights, a local schoolgirl named Charlotte Owens won the judges over – and Freedom Hall was born. In 1984 Freedom Hall underwent a total renovation, and in 1988 further expansion took place. IN 1990 South A and South Wing B were built, the xpanded space testiment to how successful the Exposition Center had become. However, even further wings were added in 2003 and 2006. Today the Expo center plays host to a number of internationally recognized events and shows such as the famous Kentucky State Fair.It also hosts the National Farm Machinery Show and the North American International Livestock Exposition.
Today the Kentucky Exposition grounds sprawl over 520-acres. It is the only venue in the state that will able to welcome the 600,000 peope who attend the Kentucky State Fair. Those epople will be taking advanatge of the opprtunty to sampe the famous friend chicken, Borbon, fairground attractions and livestock shows that are today a hallmark of the event held at this incredible venue.
Of course the Kentucky Exposition Center today also plays host to a variety of trade shows and events that take advantage of its incredible facilities and ability to handle large crowds with ease. It is a venue that has undergone reinvention many times since it first opened its doors in 1956. Given the cost of establishing a venue of comparable size it is unlikely to be unseated from its position as Kentucky’s premier event venue anytime soon.
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