Coronavirus: State gives county fairs approval for full events after 2020 cancellations

XENIA, Ohio — County fairs have been given the green light from the state of Ohio on the heels of having been scaled back or canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two weeks ago, organizations behind the state’s county fairs were pressuring Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to come up with a plan for the year. Now, those plans have been announced.

>> Organizations behind Ohio’s County Fairs presses Gov. Dewine for 2021 Fair Plans

In Greene County, fair organizers are busy planning the August event, which has been something that Dan Bullen, treasurer of the Greene County Agricultural Society, has been waiting for.

“A lot more excited and a lot more relaxed about what we can do,” Bullen said.

Last year state orders, put in place because of COVID-19, forced Greene County to hold a junior fair, which limited activities. However, this past weekend, Bullen said a state committee signed off on a full fair that will allow for 4-H shows, entertainment, rides and food.

Bullen said, “We haven’t heard no to anything.”

However, Bullen said fairs will be forced to follow guidelines put in place for the Ohio Department of Health. That means, like last year, there will likely be restrictions that will require limiting capacity at events, mask-wearing and social distancing.

“Some fairs that are early may not be able to do what some fairs late in the year can do, so we’ll just have to wait and see what’s going to happen,” Bullen said.

Still, Bullen said having a full fair is a win for kids and the community. And, although things can change, he said families can now plan.

“I understand parents. They don’t want to spend the money when they don’t know what’s going on. But we’re telling people you can do these things,” Bullen said.

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