GREENVILLE — The Darke County Fair Board met Wednesday evening to discuss plans for the junior fair livestock sales and concessions.
The junior fair this year will operate for six days, August 21 to 26, and is not open to the public. A drive thru food pick-up system will operate August 27, 28, and 29, which allows for the general public to drive through the fair grounds to pick up food from a limited number of vendors. The details on how this can be done safely and efficiently are still being worked out.
“We hope to have around 20 to 30 vendors,” noted Brian Rismiller, the fair manager. “Right now, we are working out a system in which cars enter the fairgrounds from one side, get their food, and exit from another. We are just trying to keep people safe and keep a solid flow of traffic.”
All parking for the junior fair will be south of the coliseum, with no general parking allowed anywhere else on the fairgrounds. General admission to the junior fair will not be granted without an entry wrist band, and patrons are not permitted to walk the fairgrounds as usual. Each exhibitor participating in the junior fair gets one wrist band for themselves, plus six additional wristbands for family members to attend their showing. Junior fair advisors will also receive one wrist band each. The wrist bands will be distributed through the junior fair coordinators, similar to how parking passes have been distributed in previous years.
By Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mandate, all visitors permitted into the fairgrounds must, at all times, wear a mask when unable to consistently maintain six feet of distance from other attendees. Exhibitions in the junior fair are limited to 10 participants at a time, and wearing a mask is not required by those participating in an event, but social distancing measures are to be followed whenever possible.
The meeting featured a lengthy public forum in which members of the community presented on issues ranging from cleaning duties to the sale of livestock from the junior fair. One attendee was particularly upset about the sale of his children’s hogs when, as he argued, he would be better suited to keep the animals due to rising meat prices caused by COVID-19.
“The coronavirus has caused the price of a pound of bacon to rise to nearly six dollars,” the resident argued. “I don’t want to be forced to sell my hog for $40 to $50 when I could just take it home and save money in the long run not having to buy meat.”
This prompted the board to carry a motion that allows junior fair participants to make their own decision on whether or not they want to keep or sell their hog. After further discussion, another motion was carried that removed the sale of hogs by junior fair participants entirely. Champion and runner-up hogs, by law, must be still be sold, however.
For more information about this year’s junior fair, contact the fair board by phone at 937-548-5044 or 937-548-3821. They can also be reached by email at [email protected]