XENIA — The 2020 Greene County Fair is a go.
Fair board members decided to move forward with a “full modified fair,” according to an official statement posted on the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center Facebook page Tuesday night.
The decision was made after many meetings and conversations.
Committee members met with Greene County Public Health officials earlier in the day to work through the Responsible RestartOhio: County Fairs guidelines, released by the governor’s office and Ohio Department of Health May 28.
“We worked through how we will handle all these issues at the Greene County Fair,” the statement said. “There will be changes to every aspect of the fair as this is not a normal time in our lives and society.”
Prior to making the announcement, fair board members received a letter at 5 p.m. from the governor’s office, informing them that they would receive $50,000 from the state to help them safely host a junior fair this summer, if it could be held in compliance with a set of health guidelines. The guidelines attached to the letter list protocols for large gatherings, livestock and non-livestock exhibitions, grandstand events and harness racing, barns and campgrounds, food concessions, sanitation and hygiene, physical contact, and amusement rides.
“I think that changes a lot of things,” Greene County Fair Board President Dan Bullen said after receiving word of the funding. “That changes every aspect of what we are going to do.”
Fair officials said in the public statement later: “Without this assistance it would have been a burden on many County Fairs to hold a Junior Fair.”
The board said it will continue to work with the county health department to ensure safety protocols will be met for participants and attendees, regardless of what the fair will look like.
“Please remember this year the fair will not look the same as prior years and some events will not be held at all,” fair officials continued. “These changes are only for 2020 at this time.”
Last week, Bullen expressed concern over Greene County youth — including seniors in their last year — losing their summer fair, in the midst of the cancellation of so many events.
“We know some of you thought that the Board didn’t think of the youth of Greene County. Every conversation and meeting that was really our only discussion or focus was how to have a Junior Fair!” fair officials said. “Because of the Board’s patience on not making a hasty decision weeks ago we can now have a full modified fair.”
The Greene County Fair is currently slated for Aug. 2-8, 2020.