OTTAWA — Jokes about fair food not having calories? Check.
Quips about it not being fair season without the threat of rain? Check.
Multiple pronunciations of the name Putnam? Check.
The Putnam County Fair got off to a strong start Monday morning, as politicians and fair board members took the stage to kick off the region’s first fair.
“Putnam County has a mantra of ‘work hard, play hard,’” said Putnam County Commissioner Michael Lammers. “We’d like to thank the people who’ve done the hard work so we can all play hard this week.”
Among those people who worked hard in advance was Fair Director Maurice Miller, who noted the behind-the-scenes upgrades at this year’s fair. He shared the speaker wires were replaced throughout the fairgrounds, resulting in clearer-sounding communications over the loudspeakers. There are also 24 additional camper spots and new water lines to buildings on the eastern side of the fairgrounds.
For most people, though, it’s about the fun and food. State Rep. Jim Hoops, R-Napoleon, declared fair food wouldn’t have calories this week, although that might be an overreach of his authority as a state representative.
The fair king and queen were also coronated. Megan Schulte, of the Kalida Go Getters, was crowned queen. Reese Mangas, of Liberty Boys & Girls, was selected king.
Monday night’s entertainment included the annual band show. Bands from Columbus Grove, Continental, Fort Jennings, Kalida, Leipsic, Miller City and Ottawa-Glandorf participated.
The evening’s entertainment also included a program honoring veterans in attendance and fallen soldiers, as it was veterans’ day at the fair.
At the back of the fairgrounds, the animal stalls were a beehive of activity, as the rabbits, horses and ponies, goats and sheep were all judged individually and for showmanship by their accompanying 4-H members.
“To me, the fair season recognizes the great work done in agriculture here in northwest Ohio,” said state Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon.
The fair runs through Saturday. Today is kid’s day at the fair, with free admission for any child under 16 until 4 p.m.
Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter at Lima_Trinko.