The queen’s room ended up fit for royalty, but based on comments throughout the afternoon, that could be said for the eight other rooms, as well.
More than 200 people came out to the Historic Administration Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds on Thursday to check out the renovations done to nine of the sleeping rooms on the building’s upper floor. The makeovers were done by Sedalia nonprofit tourism groups and a couple of local businesses, Dugan’s Paint and Flooring and A Jewel Home Decor and More; A Jewel tackled the queen’s room, which won rave reviews from many visitors, including Lynn Reid, the Missouri State Fair’s superintendent of fair queens.
“I am impressed, and I am excited for the new queen,” Reid said as she surveyed the renovated room. “She’s going to feel like she’s royalty.”
The room also was a hit with 8-year-old Ramey Kempton, who liked the black, silver and white bedspreads and the floral skirt around the sink.
Maureen O’Hare, owner of A Jewel, said she put in more than a 40-hour work week to turn the queen’s quarters from dungeon into dashing.
“If you saw what these rooms looked like before we started, anything would have been an improvement,” she said.
Around the corner, Liz Yelton was pointing out some of the details of the rustic, horse-themed room created by the Trail’s End Society. She opened the closet to show the base yellow that the room’s walls had been painted; Jo Dey, a former Sedalia schools art instructor who was assisting with the project, suggested they use a brown glaze over the yellow. Yeltin liked the “leathery look” that resulted.
The room renovation project was conceived by Missouri State Fair Foundation Executive Director Wendy Faulconer, who worked with the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Coalition; the goal was for the sleeping rooms to be renovated and themed to Sedalia’s tourism groups, which would help sell Sedalia as a destination and open the opportunity to rent the rooms out during nonfair weeks. Currently the rooms are used primarily during the fair by superintendents and interns.
“Amazing, just amazing,” Faulconer said of the renovation efforts. “The groups put so much of themselves into the rooms.”
She praised the volunteers for being “people with a bigger vision. ... These are people who have a vision of what they want their community to be like, and they are willing to put their heart and soul into it.”
She also thanked Dugan’s, which donated paint for all of the rooms.
Other rooms were done by the Katy Depot, Missouri State Fair Foundation, Sedalia Visual Arts Association, Ozark Mountain Music Festival, Bothwell Lodge and Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation.
Marie Jones, of Sedalia, liked the black-and-white theme of the Joplin foundation room.
“It’s very artistic,” she said.
Fair Director Mark Wolfe called the upgrades “a pretty amazing transformation. ... Hat’s off to the organizations — every room is phenomenal.”
Those attending the open house had the opportunity to vote for their favorite room by dropping dollars into buckets, with the proceeds going to the tourism groups. Wolfe opted not to play favorites.
“I dropped one dollar in every bucket,” he said.
The Trail’s End room ended up as the crowd favorite.
“Everybody did a great job,” O’Hare said. “They’re all great, and everyone put in a lot of work. The way I see it, everybody wins.”