Fair Board discusses fundraisers and service projects


By Kimberly Pistone
[email protected]

SIDNEY – The Shelby County Fair Board discussed help needed, fundraisers and service projects at a meeting on April 19.

The Fair Board has two imminent needs for the upcoming fair. The Free Entertainment Tent Committee stated that they need a new sound and light person, as their usual person had to bow out due to health issues. The Fair Board is also looking for an office worker for the month prior to fair through the week of fair. Their current person is retiring after this year and a new person needs to be trained.

4-H Extension Educator Katie Hughes was in attendance along with two Junior Fair Board members. Junior Fair President Leah Meyer, of Anna, and Sophia Rowles, of Sidney, presented two fundraising ideas to replace the annual rummage sale. Traditionally the rummage sale has been successful, but in 2022 it was not. The two new fundraising ideas are a dunk tank to be held on Thursday during fair, and cow patty bingo, to be held on the first day and potentially additional days based on interest. Both of these events will be placed in high visibility locations to encourage participation.

Also new this year is the “Fight the Hunger, Stock the Trailer” program. This is sponsored by Farm Credit Mid America and Rural 1st. There will be a stock trailer available where people can donate non-perishable items. This is also a competition between junior fair boards across the state. All participating junior fair boards are awarded with $500, then fair boards with the most donations (by weight) earn additional cash prizes. All donated items will be used in Shelby County.

Secretary Bill Clark talked about a solution for another problem at the fair. Each year some of the chickens lay eggs, and unauthorized people collect the eggs and use them for mischief. This year Fair Board members will be collecting any eggs each day and donating them to the homeless shelter, with the dual hope to prevent messes on-site and to benefit the community.

Additionally, the Fair Board is still getting bids on replacing the ticket booth roof. The new roof will be a pitched roof rather than the flat one it currently has. Bids for both metal and shingle options are being taken.

The Board also approved getting quotes to replace some office computers. They are looking at replacing old desktops that can no longer be updated with laptops. This will allow entry to happen at the shows during fair and make things more efficient.

At the end of last year, House Bill 45 was approved with a distribution to all agricultural societies in Ohio. The Fair Board will be receiving a grant for $47,872.34 with no stipulation on how that money can be used. The Fair Board will probably use this money for electrical upgrades for on-site camping. This will be further discussed at the next meeting.

The long range (20 year) plan for the fair is to make one-way traffic through the fairgrounds. In order to help fair-goers get used to this change, the Fair Board will be moving one of the dumpsters and shortening the dairy tent. This is especially important this year because Saturday night of the fair will be exceptionally busy with junior fair and animal move out, the rodeo, and a special performance in the free entertainment tent by the contemporary Christian group Sanctus Real.

Chris Roediger, the county maintenance manager, reported that he is looking for a couple of water leaks that aren’t showing up anywhere except on the water bill. He also stated the camper storage has been almost fully cleared, the horse arena has been opened and they are beginning to mow.

Finally, the Fair Board is still soliciting sponsorships for this year’s fair, and there are around 50 tickets left for the gun raffle. The drawing for the gun raffle is to be held at their next meeting.

The next fair board meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the secretary’s office.

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