Meigs County Fair file photo. Meigs Independent Press photo.

DeWine Restricts Fairs Further with Junior Fair Activities, Curfew

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor DeWine announced today that county and independent fairs with an opening day on or after July 31, 2020, will be limited to specific junior fair events. 

“We’ve seen several fairs that have been doing an excellent job to keep fair-goers safe, yet  other fairs have been connected to outbreaks; some have disregarded social distancing; and we’ve also seen a lack of enforcement of the statewide mask order. It’s just a real shame,” said Governor DeWine. “Because it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the summer of 2020, I believe we must now scale fairs back.”

Junior fair activities such as livestock competitions and 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitions for kids and teenagers may continue as planned, but junior fairs must develop a plan that reduces crowding in barns, such as limiting entrance to only the immediate family of those actively showing their animals or projects. A 10 p.m. curfew will also be instituted for the barns, buildings, and midways.

Harness racing can proceed with no spectators, but rides, games, and grandstand events will be prohibited to limit crowds and better prevent coronavirus spread. 

The Meigs County Agricultural Society which owns the Meigs County Fairgrounds and operates the Meigs County Fair released this statement on their Facebook page shortly after DeWine’s announcement, “Governor Mike DeWine announced today (7/28) that all fairs in the State of Ohio that start on or after July 31st will be Junior fairs only. Please understand this was a state level decision not local! The Meigs County Fair Board will be meeting soon to discuss and make plans for a Junior Fair to allow 4-H and FFA exhibitors to show and sale their animals. Please understand we do not have details worked out at this time but as soon as we do we will be sharing those plans here. We ask that everyone continue to be kind to one another and practice safe social distancing.”

The Meigs County Health Department and the Meigs County Agricultural Society for months had been working on safety plans which included 50 percent reduced capacity at the Grandstand, additional hand sanitizing stations and other measures.