MIAMI COUNTY — Plans and preparations are still moving forward for the 2020 Miami County Fair.
“This year, however, we don’t yet know what Ohio’s fairs will look like, but we do know the costs incurred by the fair boards continue,” Governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday.
Gov. DeWine announced that in 2020, the Ohio Department of Agriculture would waive the requirement that fair boards must secure matching funds in order to be eligible to receive $50,000 facilities grants.
Last week, Miami County Agricultural Society President Nick Shellenberger said the board will continue to move forward with its plan to have its fair as scheduled from Aug. 14-20. Shellenberger did say DeWine has said that festivals, fairs and events with crowds would be one of the last to be allowed to open, but the fair board will continue planning and preparing for its fair at the end of August.
“We are continuing to watch everything closely,” he said.
Shellenberger said the committees are working on contingency plans. Shellenberger shared how livestock exhibitions have been modified in years past such as the chicken exhibition using stuffed animals and poster presentations during the avian flu pandemic or stuffed rabbits when those animals were removed from the grounds due to illness.
Shellenberger said the fair board has cancelled all events like its popular food truck rally as well as auctions on the grounds until the state mandate is lifted. Shellenberger said the fairgrounds will still have events like community blood drives with strict social distancing rules in place.
The blood drives will be held April 24 and 30 from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. at the Duke Lundgard building at the fairgrounds.
Shellenberger’s son Curt is president of the Junior Fair Board. There are 32 members on the junior fair board from around the county in 4-H and Girl and Boy Scouts. The junior fair board help run all the junior fair activities at the fair and assist senior fair board as well.
The Junior Fair Board is seeking sponsorships for trophies for this year’s 4-H and FFA contests. Each trophy will feature the name of the sponsor on a plaque and cost $25-30.
“There are lots of kids in our county that are in 4-H or FFA and we want to make sure everyone is rewarded,” Curt said.
Each sponsor will also receive a one-day fair pass to attend the event that they sponsored. The name of the sponsors will be announced during the shows or award ceremony. The following categories still need sponsorship: rabbit, sheep, swine, beef, dairy, goat, horse, poultry, FFA, livestock judging, dogs and Girl Scouts.
Another opportunity to support the junior fair board is to become a junior fair board booster. For $45, the sponsor’s name or business appears in the follow year’s fair book, on a sponsor sign and receives a one-week fair pass. A $25 sponsorship receives the same as above minus a week-long fair pass.
The money collected pays for the trophies, ribbons and judges of the junior fair shows as well as supports the fair king and queen contest.
Curt, who shows dairy market steers, is in his fifth year on the fair board.
“We appreciate all the support we receive and we hope to see everybody at the fair,” he said.
The fair board office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday or contact them by email or phone at (937) 335-7492 and [email protected] or online at www.miamicountyohiofair.com or find them on Facebook.