OTTAWA — Members of the Putnam County Fair board met Friday evening and decided to conduct a scaled-down version of the fair — maybe.
The board conducted a two-hour meeting Friday night at the junior fair building which involved a great deal of discussion and some tempers displayed. But the message was a united one — they will need a lot of help and donations pulling the event off if it is held.
The fair, which began in 1855, is scheduled for June 22-27. Tickets will not be sold and donation buckets will be at all the gates to avoid having to handle money and tickets given the current COVID-19 crisis.
Nathan Meyer, fair board president, said they have been told that the state will allow county fairs to be held after July 1 which will retroactively apply to Putnam County’s fair, but they do not have the paperwork in hand.
“We are waiting on the state again,” Meyer said. “But we hear it’s coming.”
Another meeting will be held Tuesday to review the guidelines to be presented to the local health board on how a fair will be conducted. The board did vote on moving the demolition derby and tractor pull to a weekend in the fall.
The governor’s office has released guidelines on how county fair boards/agricultural societies and local health departments to safely allow youth to participate in limited livestock shows and other activities. The guidelines include an emphasis on social distancing, limiting crowds and ensuring the health of people involved and measures for animal care. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged Ohio’s fair boards to work with local health departments on putting on the events within the guidelines.
Reach Mark Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.