By: Rebecca Miller
As Governor DeWine lifted the pandemic restrictions from the state on June 2, 2021, the Ohio County Fair Boards are looking forward to getting back in the saddle, so to speak.
The Williams County Fair, held in the northwest corner of Ohio, is set as one of the latest area fairs as usual, with the dates of operation being September 11-18.
The (164th) Fulton County Fair, nicknamed the “Top of Ohio” Fair, is set for the week before that, running from September 3-9. Both Fair Boards are excited about getting back out on the midway with the Fair-loving people of Northwest Ohio.
Dennis Wyse, President of the Fulton County Fair Board, said that nothing is changed from what was done at the fair before the 2020 shutdown.
They are expecting the large crowds they have always had, with plenty of entertainment, great food and vendors for everything imaginable.
“There may be a few more sanitizer stations than there used to be,” he said, “but everything is back to what it was.” Amy Ambrose, Fulton County Fair Marketing Manager, agreed that they will be back up and running just like they were in 2019.
“We have worked with the Fulton County Health Department and will be following CDC Guidelines, but they are much relaxed from the 2020 guidelines which allowed for a very limited fair last year,” Ambrose said.
“This year we may have a few more wash stations than we had before the pandemic, but we just want everyone to feel safe and healthy.” She also stressed that Masks are welcome for those who choose to wear them, but are not required for those who do not.
Both Wyse and Ambrose are excited about the events that will be happening this year.
With some “really cool entertainment in the grandstand” and lots of free fun all over the midway, there will be “something for all ages.” One of the events is Dinowars, “which is completely new.
Big dinosaurs that the kids can pet and can watch them feed the dinosaurs. There will be some small ones roaming around the fairgrounds as well as a sand pit for digging fossils.”
The merchants are all signed up and there were plenty who wanted to come that filled in the spots for any who didn’t come back. There will be an interactive Fire Fighter Show on Saturday through Tuesday in the park.
Jake Owens is scheduled for the Big Show and they are excited to have him coming to Fulton County.
4-H Judging will be up and running as it always has been and Camping is filling up already as everyone looks forward to “getting back to normal.”
Ambrose said, “We are hoping for a great crowd as in 2019 we were the #1 County Fair for attendance.”
“We can’t wait for everyone to come back, and to see people there having fun again. Let the cares of the world go by the way and have fun together.”
Williams County Fair Board members are also thrilled to be able to plan on a full Fair this year, after needing to limit it to just 4-H judging during the 2020 season.
A Combine Derby, Jr. Fair Board Competition and Fun Night, Bands, Cheer Competition, Harness Racing, Youth Night, and Demolition Derby are some of the events planned for the September week to which all WC Fair-goers are looking forward.
Fair Board President Matt Kennedy, shared that every night there will be free entertainment on the North Side of the Gillette Building at the Midway Stage.
Pete Slagel on Saturday, Jess Kelly Adams on Sunday, a Magic Show and Kid Karaoke on Monday which is Kid’s Day, and Blue Grass on Thursday are some of the performances available for the enjoyment of all who attend.
Others will include some Classic Rock bands, a Church Group and Cook and Bell, who are a favorite.
During a recent Fair Board meeting, the Board voted following an Executive Session, to hire a company called Fair Derby out of Norwalk, Ohio, to put on the Demolition Derby this year.
They also began consideration of a new event called “Furry Overstuffed Animal Karts”, and spoke of how good it will be to be back at the fair in person, getting to see all the happy faces, eat delicious fair food that will be offered and enjoy a great week.
Something else that has not changed are the prices. WC Fair will remain the same as it was in 2019 with the gate fee being $5 for adults and $20 for a week pass, kids 12 and under are free, 13-18 can get a week pass for $10.
For more information, go to fultoncountyfair.com or wcofair.com, but whatever you do, get out there and have some fun.
Be wise, be careful, stay safe and healthy, but definitely have some fun at the fair this year, as it is much needed by all.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com