OTTAWA — The Putnam County Fair is going to happen. The fair board got the word Tuesday night that it can go ahead with plans to hold the event June 22-27 in Ottawa.
“We got the new orders at about 5:30 p.m.,” said Nathan Meyer, fair board president.
While there will be no rides, many of the fair favorites are still happening at the region’s first fair and its first large-scale gathering since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“We’re still doing all the Junior Fair animal shows Monday through Wednesday. The Livestock Sale will be Thursday. Harness racing is still Tuesday and Wednesday. We are having grandstand events. Friday will be the truck and tractor pull, and Saturday will be the demo derby,” Meyer said. “We’re going to have the open class sheep show on Saturday.”
The fair board was anxiously awaiting the new orders and had set a Friday midnight deadline to decide whether the fair would happen or not.
“I was mad that I knew we were going to pretty much have to reinvent the wheel, but we can at least have more of a fair,” Meyer said. “I’m going to be contacting all the food vendors again because we just called them (Tuesday) to find out who is coming and told them all there’s no grandstand event. So we’re going to call them back to see because I’m sure a few more are going to want to come now.”
The new order allows animals to remain at the fairgrounds all week.
As for masks, all food vendors must wear them.
“It’s recommended that the judge wears a face mask when he’s handling the animals. Otherwise, it was workers, volunteers, staff had to wear a mask,” Meyer said.
Between now and the 22nd, the fair board will be shifting into high gear.
“We’ll be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. We’ll get a whole bunch of stuff lined back up,” Meyer said.
The barns will have to be cleaned and disinfected, spraying them down with bleach to kill any germs that may be in there.
The fair board will have to abide by social distancing rules.
“I’m still going to have to go around and draw x’s in front of the food vendors. We’re still going to have one-way traffic as much as we can in the barns and up on the midway,” Meyer said.
Meyer praised the work of the Ohio Fair Managers Association and the county health department “for working so hard with us to make sure we can have a fair and a safe fair,” Meyer said.