By Matt Reese
The calendar is almost to June and there is still tremendous uncertainty surrounding most of Ohio’s county and independent fairs. The topic came up in Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s afternoon press conference.
“Today we are releasing guidelines on how county fair boards/agricultural societies and local health departments can safely allow kids to participate in limited livestock shows and other activities,” DeWine said.
The guidelines include an emphasis on social distancing, limiting crowds, ensuring the health of people involved, and measures for animal care. The governor encouraged Ohio’s fair boards to work with local health departments on putting on the events within the guidelines.
Earlier in the day State Representatives Susan Manchester and Jena Powell sent a letter to DeWine urging the State to comply with recommendations offered by the Fair Advisory Group.
“Each county has faced different experiences and challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, it is clear that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach,” the letter said. “We believe these recommendations advance local control, while ensuring the health and safety of all Ohioans. It is time we trust Ohioans to make decisions in the best interest of their own communities. We all share the same goal of protecting one another and keeping each other safe. We are confident in the ability of our county fair boards, vendors, and patrons to implement and follow protocols that ensure a successful event.”
Also in the letter Brian Rismiller, Darke County fair manager, highlighted innovative efforts to increase safety.
“I strongly feel with the proper guidance from your office our local health department as well as the Fairboard for Darke County can move forward with our fair and make it safe,” Rismiller said. “I am preparing for an informational APP that will allow fairgoers to order from their favorite food stand while not having to wait in lines to get their food. Give us the chance to keep putting smiles on faces.”
Click here for the guidelines released today: County-Fairs