LIMA — The State of Ohio limited all Ohio Fairs to a Junior Fair-only events. The Allen County Fair, which began Aug. 21 and ran for seven instead of nine days, lost money.
According to financial figures released at Wednesday’s monthly meeting of the Allen County Agricultural Society, the fair took in $75,000 (including $50,000 from the state of Ohio) but had expenses of $123,500 for a loss of $48,480.
Another big revenue generator for the Agricultural Society, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 4-Wheel Jamboree, which was scheduled to run Oct. 23-25 at the Allen County Fairgrounds, has been canceled. No information was released regarding ticket refunds.
On a positive note, Max’s Rebel Run Car Show, scheduled for this weekend at the fairgrounds, will go on as scheduled, beginning this Friday.
Prior to the meeting, 4-H Extension educator Kelly Coble praised the effort to move forward with a Junior Fair this year.
“I think that it actually went really well,” Coble said. “I think kids got to complete a project this year, and they got to be able to exhibit those and let people see them. I think that they were just really excited about coming out and being able to do one normal thing before they got back to school.”
Coble says having a Junior Fair only during the COVID-19 pandemic was a learning experience.
“I think we learned that our 4-H kids are pretty resilient and that they were excited to come and complete their projects, even if they weren’t quite going to be able to show those off to the general public. But they were excited to get together and do those with the other 4-H members,” Coble said.
Coble says she was pleased with the support the Jr. Fair received.
“I think that a lot of people were super excited that we broadcast our shows on Facebook and live-streamed them and put them on Channel 44 (WTLW-TV). I think that that’s showed us that we have that option and that we are probably going to keep that option in the future. I think that everybody was just excited to be out here and be able to get together with that normal group of people that they do every summer,” Coble said.
Final figures from the Junior Fair Livestock Auction were released at the meeting.
The total amount of money brought in by the sale of the hogs, sheep, goats, steers, poultry, rabbits and the gallon of milk was $453,685.81.
The top three buyers were Allen County Fabrication, Nutrien and Spallinger Millwright.
The fair board has yet to select a new general manager. Prior to the fair, Bob Fricke was informed his contract, which was slated to expire at the end of November, would not be renewed.
At a special board meeting held Sept. 1, the board voted to immediately terminate his employment contract.
The board hopes to name a new general manager within the next 30 days.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.