MARIPOSA – A familiar “landmark” at the Mariposa Fairgrounds is back in service due to the generous contributions of local citizens.
The rain storms and flash floods that ravaged Mariposa County in March 2018 completely disabled the highly visible marquee sign at the fairgrounds on Highway 49.
For over a decade that marquee had been a key communication device for the residents of the county.
It was originally donated 13 years ago by County Bank, which was eventually acquired by WestAmerica Bank, which has a branch office in Mariposa.
“We’re not sure, but we think it was a lightning strike that took it out,” said Brian Bullis, general manager of the fairgrounds.
On Friday, April 19, thanks to the efforts of two generous community organizations and the Mariposa Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation, a new state-of-the-art marquee was installed by The Sign Guys, based in Atwater.
Local resident and past president of the Mariposa Lions Club, Earl Crutchfield, approached Bullis about seeing if the Mariposa Lions Club, as a non-profit community service organization, could get a discount on a new marquee. Bullis said he had originally received bids of $22,766 to replace the old marquee.
“I thought that was a little bit too much for us to bite off at this time,” said Bullis, who is also on the board of the Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation.
With a non-profit discount applied, the price of the new marquee was reduced to $21,436.
According to Buz Arnold, president of the foundation, the Mariposa Rotary Club donated $5,000, the Mariposa Lions Clubs matched that amount, and the foundation funded the remaining $11,436. Bullis said he is also asking the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau for a donation of $2,000 to help defray the cost.
The original marquee sign was only visible to northbound traffic on Highway 49, but the new unit is illuminated on both sides.
“It was definitely time to replace it,” Bullis added, “the old one had significantly outdated technology and limited usage.”
The marquee is used to convey message regarding events scheduled at the fairgrounds and events being held by the local Rotary and Lions clubs.
(Submitted by Mariposa Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation).