Alachua County and the City of Newberry are hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the renovations of the Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center (23100 W. Newberry Road, Newberry). The Ribbon Cutting is on Saturday, March 6, 2021, at 5:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Face masks are required when social distancing is not possible.
Speakers at the event include Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell, City of Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe, Congresswoman Kat Cammack, Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson, Guy Hale Youth Fair Representative, Assistant County Manager – Chief of Staff Gina Peebles, and UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Director Dr. Cynthia B. Sanders.
“The Commission is very excited at how so many related projects are falling into place,” said Commission Chair Ken Cornell. “The Agriculture and Equestrian Center, the new Army Equipment Concentration Site at the old fairgrounds, and the regional Sports Center at Celebration Pointe are all transformational projects that will bring jobs and economic benefits to our community.”
The Alachua County Commission purchased the Agriculture and Equestrian Center (formally the Canterbury Equestrian Showplace) in August 2019 for $3.9 million. They invested an additional $8.4 million for on-site capital improvements. The Tourist Development Tax fully funded both the acquisition and renovations.
The Agricultural Center's existing arena is a 150’ x 250’ open-air facility with seating for 2000+. In addition to accommodating the Youth Fair and equestrian events, the arena can host consumer/trade shows, rodeos, festivals, banquets, agricultural events, barrel racing, roping, livestock auctions, pet shows, tractor pulls, and concerts.