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

GREENE COUNTY — News Center 7′s Gabrielle Enright sat down with Dan Bullen,  the treasurer of the Greene County Agricultural Society and learned that the organizations have come up with a plan they’ve called Responsible Restart.

Members of Ohio’s Fair Managers Association, The Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association and Ohio Festival Association have teamed up and sent Governor DeWine a letter outlining proposed COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Those guidelines including 19 categories covering things like how to safely handle grandstands, stage events, amusement rides, livestock shows, auctions and food vendors.

“Can we have a full fair? Can we not have a full fair? Is it just a junior fair? We’re just trying to get the information by March 1 so those early fairs, like the ones in June, can start planning,” Bullen said.

Bullen says association members feel the Responsible Restart plan would allow counties to hold full fairs instead of junior fairs which would limit money because it limits activities.

“We have to have those other events. Those grandstand events that make us money help pay for us to have 4H and FFA,” Bullen explained.

Last year Ohio gave Greene County and other counties $50,000 if they held junior fairs, but Bullen said Greene County’s fair still lost money but will survive. He’s worried other county fairs will not.

Governor DeWine has said he would make a decision about fairs soon but gave no specific date.