OWEGO (WBNG) — Part of Marvin Park in Owego is getting a makeover several months ahead of the Tioga County Fair.
The fair has announced, this year, it will be hosting a professionally-sanctioned rodeo for the first time ever.
The Painted Pony Championship Rodeo will feature bull riding, saddle bronco riding, team roping, and a cowgirls barrel racing project.
Along with the new event, also comes a new space.
“We decided first of all, in order to have the rodeo we need to have a larger venue, thereby the Tioga County Event Center’s birth,” said Tioga County Fair Board President Jonathan Marks.
Officials broke ground on January 12, when the old event center was knocked down.
Going forward, it will become a larger space.
“The event center is going to be a large square in front of the existing grandstands, surrounded by new bleachers on the three sides, there will be new lights to surround it to light up the area. We have our existing judges stand,” said Marks.
It’s all to draw in bigger crowds, something people who live in the area say is a good thing.
“I think it’s very exciting for the town of Owego especially. The more people that come into the area and see how wonderful this village is, I’m just sold on that,” said Simon Caudullo, of Owego.
“I think it will be great. I think it’s a wonderful area and anything positive with more things to do and pulling people together with agriculture, and whatever it might be,” said Susan Stoddard of Vestal.
Work is starting so early in the year because everyone helping out as a volunteer.
A lot of the equipment being used for the project was donated.
Marks says the makeover isn’t just for Marvin Park, it is also for the fair.
“When I was young, I took my kids through there and it was not the best event. Now I would be proud to take my kids, your kids, everyone’s kids and grandkids there,” said Marks.
And it will also be useful for the community.
“We as the board members want to utilize Marvin Park more often than just a single week during the summer as part of the Tioga County Fair,” said Marks.
The event center will be available for other people and organizations to use for events, throughout the rest of the year.
Some of the work being done is state-funded. Marks says if the board receives any more funding, it may be used for an overhang over the event center.