OLD WASHINGTON — Facing a growing number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, the Guernsey County Senior Fair Board has been forced to make changes to the 2020 fair schedule.
With less than 60 days from the start of the fair, the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 situation continues to grow.
“The number one concern of the fair board is the health and safety of our Junior Fair youth, their families and the community,” said board President Brian Winters. “But coupled with that is the promise we made to maintain our Junior Fair Livestock Show and provide as much of a county fair experience that we can within the environment we are in and the guidelines we must follow.
“We cannot predict what the environment will be in mid-September, but we are at the stage in which we need to solidify a schedule and give reasonable notice to entertainment providers regarding changes and concerns,” added Winters.
These factors, along with the need to responsibly fund events with a potential decreased attendance, have led to the difficult decision to remove the following from the 2020 Guernsey County Fair schedule:
Midway rides and games, open class dairy show, OSTPA Truck and Tractor Pull, open swine show, Junior Fair booths, hilltop entertainment (beside booth building), Senior Citizens Day and senior activities, Ag Hall exhibits, commercial booths, Barnyard Bonanza, Ohio Championship Wrestling and the pavilion and east stage entertainment.
The board said that these were not easy or quick decisions, factors involved included: the influx of “outsiders” into the community, the ability to distance, the ability to ensure sanitation, cost of the event versus potential attendance, and having flexibility with our facility to provide more space and options for the Junior Fair livestock shows and sale.
The price of fair admission is reduced to $7 with plans to offer pre-sale tickets at $5 based on these changes.
Those who have purchased season passes will receive a $5 rebate when picking up tickets. Season passes are now priced at $35.
“We are working out the details on pre-sale tickets and future sales of season passes,” said Winters. “It is encouraged to purchase these admission options as we plan to have quick, low-contact entry points into the fair that will require a pass or pre-sale ticket.
“We are continuing to work as full board and in committees to work out the details to maintain the remainder of the schedule. This will alter the location and timing of some Junior Fair livestock housing and shows.”
The fair board will do its best to provide the social distancing stated in the guidelines, but this will only work with cooperation and support of the participants and spectators. Campers are still being welcomed to the fair, with some spots still available.
The following grandstand events still remain on the schedule:
• Wednesday: Rough Truck
• Thursday: Xtreme Rough Stock Rodeo
• Friday: COTPA Truck and Tractor Pull
• Saturday: Just a Kid from Ohio Music Festival hosted by Ryan Robinette, Grandstand and Track seating prices to be announced.
• Sunday: Demolition Derby
Under the current guidelines, these will be presented with limited Grandstand seating. We plan to add seating with portable bleachers to allow enough seats, but maintain distance between spectators as required.
“The goal for the entertainment was to provide a mix of events that fit a budget based on potential attendance,” said Winters.
Along with this, the fair board plans to have a good selection of concession vendors. Many of these will be in the area behind the grandstand with the area forming a “Food Court” type venue that is spread out to allow distancing, and with plenty of sanitizer stations.
“Without a doubt, some of these changes are a disappointment, but the changes we are making now to this year’s fair are being done so that we are able to continue the Guernsey County Fair for 2021 and beyond,” said Winters.
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