‘Very smooth’ start to Kentucky State Fair parking plan


by Joe Arnold


Posted on August 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 11:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For all of the fun of the Kentucky State Fair, the Fair Board's new president says for too long, just getting in has been too frustrating.

"I've heard from the very moment I began here that there were issues with parking congestion and how it was controlled," Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, the Kentucky State Fair Board President, said.

Yet on Friday evening at 6:15 p.m., normally one of the busiest times for fair admission, the wait to enter at the main gate was between one and two minutes.

Rippetoe said a new weekend parking plan for the 2013 fair is working. The product of an internal task force that met every week for the last four months, the plan got its first full test on Friday.

"I think it was very smooth," Shawna Fleenor after parking to enter a concert by "The Wanted" said.

"Yeah it was very calm, collected. Very organized," added her sister Sarah Fleenor.

The weekend plan includes:

* a $5 lot just south of the main gate compared to $8 inside the fairgrounds.

* Free parking on the weekends in the South end of the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium lot.

* Free shuttles from the off-site lots.

The Fair Board has hired new full-time staff and increased the number of fair workers, from about 750 to about 900.

At the busiest entrances, Gates one and four, workers are equipped with handheld electronic devices that speed up processing of fair admission.

"Out transactions are taking seconds instead of minutes," Rippetoe said.