The Missouri Bicentennial Commission celebrated the completion of restoration on the Missouri State Fair's old main gate, built in 1939, with a brief ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

“The main gate is a reminder of our fair's rich history,” commented State Fair Commissioner Kevin Roberts. “We were excited when the Bicentennial Commission notified us that they wanted to help us preserve this iconic structure, by funding the renovation of the gate as a lasting project on the fairgrounds, to commemorate the 200th year of our state. Thank you to the Bicentennial Commission for thinking of the state fairgrounds, and for providing the fair with the necessary funds to renovate this structure."

Roberts then introduced members of the Bicentennial Commission.

“On behalf of the entire State Fair Commission, thank you to all of you for being here for this event,” Roberts said.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chin noted that “one of the core values of the State Fair is to preserve and honor the positive character, heritage and traditions of the Fair. The State Fair Commission and the Department of Agriculture is committed to maintaining the rich history of the Fair, including our historic fairgrounds,” Chin told the crowd gathered in the shade.

Chin went on to say that the Mo State Fair was established in 1899, and is one of the oldest fairgrounds in the nation, serving as a premier agriculture showcase for the Midwest.

Chin stated that the fairgrounds is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with 47 buildings, five contributing sites, seven contributing objects, and seven contributing structures, of which the historic main gate is one,” Chin said.

The art deco gate was placed on the list in 1991. The architect was Arthur JP Schwartz.

Jeff City Mayor Carrie Tergin is the co-chair of the Missouri Bicentennial Commission and also spoke to the crowd.

“The Bicentennial, while it was last year, we continue to see the lasting effects of what we've done,” she said. “And that's evident here at the State Fairgrounds.”

The group then posed for a few photos with the newly-refurbished gate in the background.

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