By Meladi Brewer
DARKE COUNTY — The Darke County Fair announced a list of Sensory Friendly rides.
In light of last year’s controversy regarding the Sensory Friendly event at the Great Darke County Fair, The Darke County Agricultural Society President, Doug Martin issued a list of rides that will be available during this year’s Sensory Friendly Afternoon on Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to noon.
A sensory friendly event is designed to be less sensory stimulating and overwhelming. It is designed to make it easier for individuals who have sensory friendly sensitivities to noise, color, sounds, and smells to participate in social activities and events.
The Darke County Fair, being a staple in the Darke County Community, is making an effort to accommodate the approximately 16 percent who are not able to attend on a regular basis. In an attempt to correct the issues the Sensory Friendly Day faced last year, a list of rides offering sensory friendly activities on the day of the event has been posted.
Rides offered will include the Merry Go Round, Bumper Cars, Dizzy Dragons, Wind Jammer, The Wacky Shack Funhouse, Jalopy Junction, Kite Flyer, Happy Dragons, Tornado, and the Dragons Nest Roller Coaster.
These 10 rides will be offered from 11 a.m. until noon without flashing lights or music to help not overwhelm those who can easily become over-stimulated. In addition to the list of sensory friendly rides, a formal apology from Martin has been given.
“I hope you address our apologies,” Martin said. “I will personally verify that every ride is open as promised with no lights and no sound.”
Martin said they did a poor job of marking and identifying the rides available for the Sensory Friendly Day last year. Part of the issues fair-goers faced was The Great Darke County Fair Book had a miss print stating the sensory friendly afternoon would be from noon to 2 p.m. The same misprint is in the current 2022 book as well.
The correct Sensory Friendly Amusement Ride Time will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 23. and not from noon to 2 p.m. Not only is the Darke County Fair providing an afternoon of sensitivity friendly rides, they are offering a Sensory Friendly Room everyday.
A Sensory Friendly Room will be available between The Ohio Center and the Fine Arts Building for anyone who needs a quiet, calm room to rest. This accommodation will be open daily.
For more information regarding the Great Darke County Fair, visit darkecountyfair.com.
To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].