Apr 18
2011

Fairgound and Town Planning are “Ringers”

posted in Architecture, Architect & Design, Fairgrounds & Fair, General

Payette County Fair - New Plymouth, Idaho

The Payette County Fair is located in New Plymouth, Idaho.  The Payette County Fair is a 4 day event held in mid August.  We had an opportunity to visit this nice fairgrounds on a recent trip to Idaho.  This 18 acre fair is located in a rich agriculture region of Idaho, not too far from Interstate 84 and just far enough to keep this beautiful land separated from the hustle and bustle of nearby development.  The region has one of the largest horse populations in the State, and thus is an excellent example of local/regional quality livestock.  Not only is the fairgrounds delightful in layout and impressive as to the number and quality of its animals - it still did not make as large an impression on us as something else that quite honestly had nothing to do with the grounds itself.

What impressed us the most was the layout of the city of New Plymouth.  In the late 19th century the land for this town was bought and planned before it was even settled (here is the Wikipedia link).  We would argue that this experiment in city planning, although unique, is rather successful!  The city is designed in a horseshoe shape with its open end facing to the north, toward the railroad and the Payette River.  Design wise (here is a map of New Plymouth) homes are laid out in lots that circle the horseshoe – each home fronts a horseshoe street and backs-up to a green space behind it.  On the outside edge of the horseshoe the town is surrounded by two streets (like a boulevard) separated by a rather wide green space or park area.  The length of this park is exactly 1 mile (we got to travel it several times as we spent time navigating the community).  The horseshoe is not overly large (about 5 blocks wide x 5 blocks long) it is made up of about 5 or so continuous wrapping streets and nine radial streets that run perpendicular to the center of the horseshoe.  The town is then wrapped by industrial areas outside the horseshoe and has highway 30 running through its center (this serves as the town’s connection to the rest of the county and as its lifeblood of commercial activity).

All that said, the best part about traveling around the horseshoe is “hands down” the gem of a fairgrounds you’ll find when you make it to the end of your journey on the North East edge of town.  So, yes both the Payette County Fair and the City of New Plymouth, Idaho are Ringers!

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