Meigs County Fair file photo. Meigs Independent Press photo.

Meigs County Fair Still Set for Aug. 17-22, 2020

POMEROY, Ohio – While some fairs have already cancelled for the year, the 157th Meigs County Fair is still on for August 17-22, 2020.

The Meigs County Agricultural Society, the board that is entrusted with the property and running of the Meigs County Fair has been watching developments around the state concerning COVID-19. Organizers for the Ohio State Fair have cancelled this year’s event and others are making the decision to hold modified fairs. As of this publishing, the Meigs County Fair is set to hold the traditional full fair.

Meigs County Agricultural Society President Wesley Karr commented on the closing of the Ohio State Fair this year and on the prospects of holding a fair in Meigs County as well. “It was very devastating news to hear that the Ohio State Fair chose to completely cancel for the 2020 season. Many youth and adults look forward to this tradition. I especially feel bad for the last year 4-H members not being able to participate, even more so after most of their senior year of school was taken from them. The Meigs County Fair is still planning a full fair for 2020! My personal opinion is that we need to return to a sense of normalcy all while using a common sense approach to Covid-19. Meigs County still has the lowest number of positive cases in the state. A lot of times what works in Columbus isn’t always best for rural Southeastern Ohio. I’m fully prepared to advocate for allowing the Meigs County Fair to continue as normal as possible! I also have the backing of the Fairboard to continue this mission until we are forced to implement other plans or cancel completely. As always our top priority will be 4-H and livestock shows, but really the fair is only the fair with ALL participants from 4-H to entertainment, carnival rides, concessionaires, truck and tractor pulls, etc. I feel all this can be accomplished in an outdoor setting again with common sense precautions. Our main concern is safety, but canceling the fair is not what I feel is best for our county!”

The Meigs County Fair was started in 1851. Since then the fair has been cancelled rarely. It was cancelled during the Civil War years and again during World War II in 1942, 1943, and 1944. Additionally, it was cancelled for “financial reasons” in 1895, 1896, 1915, 1916, and 1917.

Paid admission to the fair is what makes the fair possible. While some fairs are considering reduced entertainment including no carnival rides, there is a question of how that will impact admission. Corporate Sponsorships help with the Meigs County Fair, but it is gate admission and the purchase of memberships to the Meigs County Agricultural Society that are the main funding sources.

Currently, the ride inspectors for the state have been laid off. Without ride inspectors, across the state fairs, festivals and amusement parks cannot open rides.

The Meigs County Fair is one of the largest annual events that happens in the county. Many groups and organizations utilize the fair for fundraising opportunities with food booths, for example. Businesses also utilize the fair for advertising, and support local youth during the livestock sale. For months prior to the fair, 4-H members work to raise livestock and complete other projects for judging and display. Market livestock projects are auctioned off during the livestock sale held on the last day of the Meigs County Fair. Throughout the county, the fair plays an impactful role in the lives of many. With so many people to be impacted, the question of what happens this year with the Meigs County Fair is an important one. As far as the fair board is concerned, the fair is still set and still on for August 17-22, 2020.