LIMA — The fate of this year’s Allen County Fair is still undecided.
The Allen County Agricultural Society Board of Directors and fair board met for more than 2½ hours in a special meeting Monday night to finally get some of the details etched in.
According to fair manager Bob Fricke, Saturday’s headlining concert with country artists Brad Paisley is looking highly unlikely. It’s unsure if the concert will be postponed to 2021 or outright cancel, so online ticket sales will be halted until further notice.
With the headlining act out, the board decided the fate of the fair hinges on if it will be able to bring in rides and games. The board was in agreement that if they aren’t able to offer rides, it should explore moving to a junior fair only.
“We’re hoping things open up and people are here, but we just don’t have a crystal ball — we don’t,” Fricke said.
With that still undecided, Fricke telephoned up the owner of Poor Jack Amusements, who has provided the fair’s rides and games for years, during the meeting. Both parties decided the next step is to partner and draft safety outlines to submit for approval to the Allen County Health Department, which has to approve each aspect of the fair.
“We’ve got to start getting things etched in tonight,” Fricke said during the meeting. “The last thing we want to do is put Poor Jack (Amusements) into a place where they’re going to be losing money by coming here.”
With this plan in place, the board moved forward with drafting a schedule based tentatively on the ability to host games and rides.
The plan is to shift the demolition derby to the fair’s opening Saturday night and move around the other grandstand events to maximize interest and capacity.
The board decided to nix its kids, veterans and senior themed days, but discount ride days will return. Much of the free entertainment slated to appear on the Plaza Stage and gospel tent are still slated to appear.
At the end of Monday’s meeting, the board decided to move forward expecting a fair with rides, but will reconvene if they aren’t able to.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.