Fair corrects date for Sensory Friendly Afternoon


By Meladi Brewer


DARKE COUNTY — The Great Darke County Fair will host its “Sensory Friendly” afternoon Monday, Aug. 21.

The Great Darke County Fair is celebrating their 167th year as “The Greatest County Fair on Earth”. In the Fair Book, it accidental lists two dates for the Sensory Friendly afternoon: Monday, Aug. 21 and Friday, Aug. 18.

Treasurer Marla Werner clarified the correct date is Monday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. until noon. She stated she would get a hold of the people responsible for putting the book together in order to reconcile this miss print in the future editions, so those needing a sensory friendly environment will be able to attend.

A sensory friendly event is designed to be a safe space that has been changed to be more calming for the senses. This includes basic senses: what is seen, heard, touched, or smelled. A sensory friendly event or even a room, like the one offered every day in the Fine Arts Building, may help improve one’s ability to feel safe, participate in play, and enhance learning.

It offers natural light, calm color tones, limited noise distractions, and gives someone a chance to recharge after becoming overstimulated. The Darke County Fair is working towards becoming more inclusive with the amenities it provides to the community.

“We work with the ride company who also has to agree to the time, but we do have a contractual agreement with them on how rides run,” Werner said.

She is unaware of the terms of the agreement, as she is not part of the committee to delegate those deals. However, she does know that extending the Sensory Friendly time was in question.

“Obviously they (the ride operators) want the noise. They want as much visibility that they can get for obvious reasons; however, when it comes to sensory, that is not what we want,” Werner said.

She said they will have to come to an agreement on what that time frame looks like.

“It would have to be a discussion that we would have to have with them, but I think it is well worth the conversation in the future,” Werner said.

The fair board is looking into future negotiations for an extended time frame, but for the fair on Aug. 18 – 26, the “Sensory Friendly Afternoon” will be from 11 to Noon on the 21st. It will offer select rides with no music or lights, so members of the community needing the relaxed setting can still come out and enjoy the fair.

For more information regarding the Great Darke County Fair, visit darkecountyfair.com.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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