Legislators visit Market Hall and discuss progress


CELINA — The site of The Grand Event Center and the rapidly progressing Market Hall at the Mercer County Fairgrounds played host to respected legislators, donors, stakeholders, and community members on Monday, December 4.

Representative Angie King of Mercer County’s District 84 shared time with the Grand Event Center (GEC) Board and Staff to celebrate the projected completion of Market Hall and discuss the progress and anticipated funding milestones of the Grand Event Center project. Thanks in part to the work of Representative King, the project was awarded $500,000 from the State Capital Budget in July 2023. The ribbon cutting for Market Hall, which represents Phase 1 of the full project is set for March 2024. The State Capital budget funding made this expected phase completion possible. All other funding for the project has been raised from local private donors.

“Mercer County has a lot to offer. The state agrees, and I am pleased to represent a $500,000 investment in our local economy by providing state funds for the completion of Market Hall. This venue will offer a unique space for all sorts of events and activities. There’s nothing like this – in addition, it offers us the unique opportunity to showcase our great communities and provides unlimited economic opportunities. Market Hall and the Grand Event Center will positively impact generations to come. I am looking forward with great anticipation to the grand opening this spring,” stated Representative King.

Also attending was State Representative Susan Manchester of District 78 who joined the conversation and learned more of the project scope and its subsequent impact on the adjoining districts. The GEC Board and staff in collaboration with Jared Ebbing of Mercer County Community and Economic Development articulated the far-reaching effect the 100,000-square-foot facility will have on Mercer County, the Grand Lake Region, and the State.

Following a warm welcome from GEC Board President Ryan Fennig and Mercer County Fairgrounds Director, Cara Muhlenkamp, stakeholders, donors, and several community members took part in commemorating the progress of Market Hall with a beam signing celebration.

Kyle VanTilburg, GEC Board Member and Co-owner of VTF Family of Companies who donated the first $1,000,000 of the project, shared his sentiments about the project’s positive momentum.

“The Grand Event Center and Market Hall project has the potential to bring real value to our communities. It’s encouraging to feel the excitement around our progress and see other leaders and donors supporting the project.“

Fundraising efforts continue for the project and make additional federal and state funding possible.

“The Grand Event Center and Market Hall project provide citizens with yet another resource and reason to be proud of this great County in which we live, work, and play,” shared Cara Muhlenkamp, Mercer County Fairgrounds Executive Director.

The Grand Event Center + Market Hall project will provide a space of more than 100,000 square feet to host a wide range of events including livestock shows, concerts, indoor tractor pulls, large tradeshows, and more. Combined, the two venues will offer a space to host nearly 6,000 guests and make the Mercer County Fairgrounds a destination for a diverse array of entertainment events. More information is available at mcgrandeventcenter.com.

The Mercer County Fairgrounds is located at 1001 W Market Street, Celina, Ohio, and serves as a community resource for enriching lives in Mercer County and beyond.

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