XENIA — The 2021 Greene County Fair had a fairly large attendance increase compared to the last full fair.
Nearly 72,500 people attended this year, an increase of 19 percent since the 2019 fair, according to a report from WDTN. After operating as a junior fair only in 2020 with no games, rides, public grandstand events, and limited food vendors, the 2021 fair was back to normal and it showed at the gate.
“(Attendance) was up over the last three years,” Greene County Fair Senior Fair Board Director Kala Benton said. “It was one of our highest attended fairs.”
Attendance at the fair — which ran Aug. 2-7 — does not solely come from those living in Greene County and the local area.
“We had people from out of the county and area participating,” Benton said.
Benton previously told Greene County News the fair is the agricultural society’s biggest event it puts on each year. With only a junior fair last year, the agricultural society took a financial hit.
“We are an expo center,” Benton previously said. “The lack of a fair hurt our expo as well. The ag society owns the fairgrounds and its buildings. We applied for different financial programs to possibly receive assistance.”
In order to save money, Benton said board members cut grass, removed snow, planted flowers, cleaned bathrooms, etc.
Benton said there was nothing that did not go well.
“The whole fair was very well done this year,” Benton said. “There were no injuries to kids. We managed to take care of safety for all guests and patrons.”
All state and local health guidelines were followed. No mask mandate was in place but social distancing was encouraged.
Hand sanitizing stations were located throughout the fairgrounds and bleachers returned to all of the barns.
The fair held Family Day/Food Pantry Discount Day Aug. 4. Attendees could bring a non-perishable food item to the admission gate and get in for half-price at $3.
Benton said the fair has done the Family Day/Food Pantry Discount Day for several years.
“We were looking for community-based projects,” Benton said. “It evolved into that.”
Benton said that even with $3 off, the fair still did well at the admission gate and the non-perishable food items collected will be donated.
“We had hundreds and hundreds of pounds that we were able to donate to the local food pantry,” Benton said.
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534. Our partners at WDTN contributed to this story.