LIMA — The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed some of the plans for this year’s Allen County Fair, most notably the big-name entertainment.
Ohio Department of Health rules limit events like the Brad Paisley concert to 2,500 people — and nearly twice that amount in tickets were sold for the concert.
As a result, the Paisley concert, which was scheduled for Aug. 22, will be postponed until at least next year’s fair.
“We’re out of it due to the Governor’s restrictions,” said Bob Fricke, fair manager. “With the Governor’s mandate, we can’t host the event.”
The fair board held a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss the new developments and discussed the possibility of bringing Paisley back next year. A new contract is being worked on with Paisley’s management team for the 2021 fair but details of that haven’t been finalized.
There’s no word yet on what ticket refund policies will be or if people who purchased tickets for this year’s concert will need to hold on to those for next year’s event.
The fair board also discussed a variety of other topics related to holding this year’s fair, including bulk purchases of hand sanitizers.
“We’re going to have them everywhere,” Fricke said.
The shuttle service on the fairgrounds will be eliminated due to COVID-19 concerns.
This year’s Junior Fair Carcass Show at Keystone Meats will also likely be closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns.
The fair kick-off dinner scheduled for Aug. 20 was also canceled. There was talk of doing the Junior Fair king and queen coronation and the Agriculture Hall of Fame inductions virtually that evening.
The cheerleading and band shows are still being planned at this point but details are being worked out.
Harness racing, the demolition derby and the truck pull is still on the schedule.
Poor Jack’s will be providing the amusement rides and they’ll have to abide by social distancing for the ride lines.
The Allen County Fair Parade is still being planned for Aug. 16, in downtown Lima, pending approval from the Lima Mayor David Berger. If he doesn’t approve the parade permits, the fair board is looking at possibly holding the parade in another location. A decision on that is expected yet this week.
The board is also applying for $50,000 in COVID-19 relief funds with the State of Ohio.
This year’s fair runs Aug. 21-29.
After the fair, during Labor Day weekend Max’s Flea Market and Waterdog Races may or may not happen. Max McCluer has yet to discuss plans with the Allen County Health Department.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.