South Park’s Fairgrounds Oval hasn’t been updated since it was the home of the Allegheny County Fair in the 1960s, but this Sunday the park will celebrate the results of a yearlong renovation project.
Before the restoration the park’s bleachers had dilapidated, the track was weathered, and there was not that much activity in the area. Now the bleachers have been removed, the area was landscaped, the track was repaved, and three baseball/softball fields that can be turned into a football field have taken over the middle of the oval.
“It’s a complete makeover and anyone who hasn’t been there in a while is really going to be surprised by what they see,” said county spokesman Kevin Evanto.
The project cost $1 million, $500,000 from a DCNR grant which was matched by the county.
Evanto says the department worked closely with the community to figure out what improvements the park needed. “It’s giving the community what it asked for, a better space, a space that is more modern, more user friendly. We spent a lot of time having public meetings in South Park, talking to park users about what they wanted to see, and this was the result,” said Evanto.
Although the oval is now open for the public, the official re-dedication will take place this Saturday, May 9.
At noon a luncheon to benefit the County Parks Foundation will have barbecue and beer for $35 for adults, or $15 for children. Then around two the official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place followed by free family activities and finally local country band “NOMaD” will perform at 5 p.m.
Evanto says that the county is planning other improvements to the park, but they have not settled on the next project just yet.