GREENVILLE — The Darke County Fair Board announced entertainment for the 2019 fair and offered updates on plans for new barn facilities at its monthly meeting Wednesday night.
An announcement on the fair’s Facebook page revealed that the band Three Dog Night will perform during fair week this year along with special guest Starship.
According to the group’s official bio, Three Dog Night boasts 21 consecutive top 40 hits stretching across a number of genres, including pop, rock and country. Some of its most famous hits include the songs “Joy to the World” and “An Old-Fashioned Love Song.”
Starship, meanwhile, is responsible for such hits as “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”
Tickets for the event go on sale Feb. 23.
The board also announced updates to its recent fundraising efforts.
“The campaign to fund three new buildings totaling over 60,000 square feet just added Dave Knapp, of Dave Knapp Ford-Lincoln, to lead the $2.5 million campaign,” a press release issued by the board revealed. “Knapp, a long-time business leader in the community, will work with the Fair Board and Matt Hughes of Fair Funding LLC to build a 25,200 sq. ft. swine facility that will double as a multi-purpose building, a 19,200 sq. ft. goat facility, and last but not least, a 15,840 sq. ft. dog facility.”
In October 2018, board members voted to hire Hughes’ company, a nonprofit consulting firm based in Cincinnati, to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether enough support exists in the community to raise the funds needed for construction of the new barns. These plans were called into question, however, following the Oct. 25 fire that destroyed the existing swine barn. That incident remains under investigation.
In January it was announced that Cargill, a multi-national agricultural corporation with facilities throughout the Midwest (including Ohio), had agreed to donate $500,000 toward the construction of the new facilities. The board voted to accept Cargill’s donation at a special meeting last month and authorized Hughes to begin moving forward with fundraising efforts.
“We all want the same thing: a better fair than we had last year,” Hughes told the board and assembled guests. “These buildings are going to set us up for generations to come.”
Controversy erupted during last month’s meeting when the possibility of moving the new barns to the south end of the fairgrounds was raised with board members fearing this could affect the terms of Cargill’s donation. Greenville attorney Chance Cox said he had spoken to representatives at Cargill and thought this would not be an issue, however, saying the company had no stipulations as to size or location, asking only that its name or company logo appear somewhere on the finished structures.
“They’ve agreed to scrap most of their usual terms and conditions, as this donation is more about goodwill than some others,” Cox said.
The board will meet next week, according to president Dean Neff, to discuss final specifications for the buildings. Neff said construction could start soon, with at least the swine barn slated to be finished before the 2019 fair.
“We’re definitely going to shoot for that,” Neff said.