The Petaluma Fairgrounds is a 55-acre, multi-use property located in the heart of town. Through the years, this site has provided a place for fun, learning, special occasions, respite and refuge during crises, as well as many lasting memories for Petalumans, County residents, and visitors. It is a truly unique place that is loved by so many.
The City of Petaluma owns the Fairgrounds property, which is to say the property exists to serve the best interests of the people of Petaluma. We are entering a new era for our Fairgrounds, one in which we have the opportunity to listen to our community, understand what this special place means to them, and map out a future for the property that will serve the needs of both those who love it and those yet to discover it.
WHY DISCUSS NOW?
The City of Petaluma owns the Fairgrounds property and, for the past 50 years, has leased it to the 4th District Agricultural Association (4th DAA). The 4th DAA determines the Fairgrounds property uses, which include the 4 day Sonoma-Marin Fair in June and other organizations the 4th DAA subleases to such as a preschool, elementary school, race track, and event spaces. The current lease will expire December 31, 2023. This timeline provides us the opportunity to listen to our community and to seek feedback on how best to plan a future for the Fairgrounds property that serves the needs of all Petalumans.
WHAT ABOUT THE SONOMA-MARIN FAIR?
The Sonoma-Marin Fair is a beloved tradition among Petalumans and our surrounding communities. We understand the importance of this annual 5 day event and all that it brings forth to enrich our community. We are heartened to see the groups that have come forward in support of the Fair.
These voices, along with others from all corners of our city, will be heard as we make recommendations to our City Council for the future use of the Fairgrounds property. While we don’t yet know what the future holds, we understand the importance of the Sonoma-Marin Fair and appreciate the community’s desire to see it continue. Ultimately, our City Council will make a decision on the future use of the space after careful consideration of the extensive input they will receive from the community.
WE INVITE YOU TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:
How might we use the City’s fairgrounds property to create the experiences, activities, resources, and places that our community needs and desires now and for the foreseeable future?
A FAIRGROUNDS FOR ALL PETALUMANS
The Fairgrounds represents many things for many people. Memories of cherished moments with friends and family at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, first days of school, special events, exciting nights at the races, and so much more. We understand the importance of this property to our community, and we are committed to approaching its future in a way that honors this special relationship.
This property exists to serve the people of Petaluma, and it is our deeply held belief that all of Petaluma should be represented in the planning of its future. We have designed a multi-faceted approach that will gather input from every corner of our community.
We are thrilled to introduce the Petaluma Fairgrounds Advisory Panel - A lottery-selected panel of 36 Petalumans representing various walks of life. They will spend 3 weeks hearing from our community and learning about our Fairgrounds then, taking all they have learned into account, will provide informed recommendations for its future use to our City Council. This process is being led by Healthy Democracy, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that helps guide decision making in local government. Learn more at healthydemocracy.org/petaluma
This panel, coupled with community engagement initiatives, will bring new voices to the table as we plan for the future uses of this important property.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Over the coming months there will be a variety of opportunities to have your voice heard as recommendations are made for the future use of the fairgrounds. Please see some of the options outlined below and stay tuned to this webpage, our social media channels, and our Community Update email to the latest details on ways to get involved.
Sign up for our weekly Community Update email and/or text messages here: cityofpetaluma.org/subscribe
SIGN UP TO STAY INFORMED
A lottery-selected panel of 36 Petalumans representing various walks of life will spend 3 weekends considering options. View the panel meetings HERE.
COMMUNITY INPUT SURVEY
Coming Soon - An opportunity for the broader community to come together and provide input to the City Council for consideration.
Coming Soon - A digital exhibit featuring community drawings, poems, photos, videos, voice notes, and more – sharing stories and other memories that speak to the spirit and legacy of the Fairgrounds.
Coming Soon - Printable/digital meeting materials for groups to provide input without having to attend a workshop.
Coming Soon - An open invitation for informational presentations at existing community and neighborhood meetings or events.
WHAT WILL WE DO WITH YOUR INPUT?
The Panel will develop polices and recommendations and share their thoughts with the 4th DAA and the City Council later this Summer. The community will have a chance to review these recommendations and provide feedback. Staff will also summarize what we learn from the other efforts including the survey, the community workshop and the digital story telling program. All of this information will be presented to the City Council so that they can decide how best to move forward.
WHAT ELSE WILL BE CONSIDERED?
Over the years, there have been many studies conducted about how the Fairgrounds works and what has happened on the property. Click here to view a list of documents that provide information and context for where we are today, as well as additional resources.
WANT MORE DETAILS?
This webpage will be regularly update with the latest information on this process. Stay tuned!