From emergency services to the Sonoma-Marin Fair, we all stand to lose something if we do not protect this historic site.
The Fairgrounds functioned as an emergency center during WWII and as a disaster relief center following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Recently, it also sheltered hundreds from the catastrophic Sonoma County fires. In 1972 the lease was renewed once more, securing the 4DAAs operation and control of the Fair and grounds through the end of 2023.
The danger we face is the possibility of the City of Petaluma reducing the fair and the space to a fraction of what it is now, at the close of 2023. If that happens, the Fairgrounds and Kenilworth Park as we know and love them today would cease to exist.
Emergency Evacuation Center
Shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake in October 1989, the Fairgrounds became an Emergency Operations Center, available to help all Sonoma County residents “cope with a major catastrophe.” Most recently, the Fairgrounds provided essential refuge for hundreds of evacuees (including their pets and livestock) during the horrific wildfires of Northern California. Additionally, the Fairgrounds has been identified as the primary location for animal evacuations thanks to our barns and animal related facilities available. To lose this function would be one of the most substantial losses of all and unequivocally detrimental to our community.
Military and Emergency Services Staging
In November 1942, the City Council of Petaluma passed a resolution to allow the US Government unlimited access to Kenilworth Park and the Fairgrounds for the “exclusive use of the housing of military personnel and other military purposes” through 1947. The Fairgrounds facility has also served as a staging area on several occasions for the CDF, the National Guard, and the US Army Reserves.
City of Petaluma Fire and Police Department Training
Our local fire department has used our facility for over 40 years to conduct training and drills for emergency response activities. The Fairgrounds have proven an ideal location for this training, thanks to its acreage and various structure types.