Fairground plaza renamed in honor of Keith McCollough

The Hamilton County Fair Parade, with more than 100 entries, drew large crowds to the sidewalks and curbs in downtown Webster City Tuesday night. The parade marked the official opening of the 97th annual exposition at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

Parade entries included floats, tractors, hayracks and walkers – most of which tossed candy and treats and other items to the spectators. Some groups distributed cold bottles of water and popsicles though the predicted dangerous temperatures had eased by parade time.

Keith and Martha McCollough served as the grand marshals of the parade. Keith McCollough, a Webster City native, was given another honor Tuesday evening. Following the fair parade, McCollough was surprised by members of the Hamilton County Fair Board with the news that the plaza in front of the show arena would be renamed in his honor.

McCollough was first elected to the fair board in 1971. He served as president of the board for nine years. During that time, he provided oversight for the first overnight stay of RAGBRAI in 1980. The entire group of riders camped at the fairgrounds that year. During his terms from 1971 to 2001, he was involved in many of the major improvements made to the fairgrounds and race track.

In 1999, he helped establish the Hamilton County Fair Foundation and has been instrumental in raising funds to construct, refurbish and restore many buildings on the grounds. He served as president of the foundation board for several years. He retired from the fair foundation in 2013 but continues his interest and support of fair activities. All in all, McCollough has provided 25 years of continuous service to the Hamilton County Fair.

A large boulder has been placed on the plaza with a plaque that states the area is now known as Keith McCollough Plaza.