Renovation of workers memorial at O.C. fairgrounds is almost complete


Work on an agricultural workers memorial at the OC Fair & Event Center that needed to be rebuilt because of structural issues is expected to be completed in time for the summer fair.

Kathy Kramer, chief executive of the fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, said Thursday during a Fair Board meeting that the project is “shaping up nicely.”

She said she expects the memorial, named “Table of Dignity” and located near Centennial Farm, will be finished by the end of May, with a rededication ceremony during the fair.

“Table of Dignity” is composed of two rammed-earth portals with a table between them that’s embedded in a large boulder. It also will contain a pergola with grapevines, lighting and seats made of rammed earth.

Originally designed by Ricardo Mendoza and Josh Sarantitis, the piece was first unveiled on Labor Day 2015, but within months, fairgrounds officials had to close off and renovate it. Combined with the $90,000 original budget, “Table of Dignity” has cost about $350,000. Most of the funding has gone toward the renovation.

In other action Thursday, the Fair Board members approved creating plaques with their names on them for “Table of Dignity” and Heroes Hall, the recently opened veterans museum on the fairgrounds property. The plaques will be similar to the one installed at the Pacific Amphitheatre when the concert venue reopened in 2003.

“These dedication plaques will memorialize the efforts of the board of directors for their vision in making these projects a reality and part of the fairgrounds for the public to learn from and enjoy for many years to come,” Kramer said in a staff report.

Twitter: @BradleyZint