GREENVILLE — The Darke County Fair Board has chosen to put Junior Fair Dog Department exhibitors in a tent once again for the 2019 fair.
At a special meeting Monday night, board members met briefly in the county fair office before going out to the area where the tent was located last year. Upon returning to the meeting chamber, the board discussed for about half an hour before voting to put up the tent again this year.
“We had heard rumors that we may be back in a tent,” Dog Committee Secretary Andria Haworth said. “We’ve asked for a larger tent, if we had to do a tent again. We have a larger number of dogs this year than last, so we need to accommodate for all of them.”
An agreement between the fair board and the Junior Fair Dog Committee initially called for committee members to raise 50 percent of the funds needed for a new barn, which the board would match. Members of the goat, swine and dog committees and the Darke County Barrow Boosters each contributed to a feasibility study to gauge support for the construction of new barns in October of last year, however, prior to the fire that destroyed the swine barn. As part of that agreement, a portion of the proceeds from the fair’s fundraising campaign would go toward building a new dog barn.
The existing dog barn has been condemned, which is what led to the dogs being exhibited in tents during the 2018 fair.
The potential location of the new dog barn, as well as the timetable for its construction, were discussed previously during a special meeting held by the fair board in March. During that meeting, it was revealed that board members had discussed locating the barn at the south end of the fairgrounds, near the horse barn, but both dog and horse committee members had concerns about that proposal.
Horse Committee members expressed concern that placing the two barns so close together could create congestion issues, that noise from the Dog Barn might upset the horses and that placing the barn in that location might interfere with the Horse Committee’s 10-year expansion plan. Dog Committee members, meanwhile, were concerned that placing the barns so close together could hinder plans to provide parking and camping space for their exhibitors.
No firm decisions were made as to the location or start of construction on the new Dog Barn.