SIDNEY — The decision to hold a junior fair only in Shelby County was made months ago.
On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced effective July 31, only junior fairs will be held in counties throughout Ohio who haven’t hosted their fair already.
Shelby County is in the midst of its junior fair. Auglaize County’s fair is slated to begin Aug. 2. Other counties, in addition to Auglaize, who had planned full fairs are Miami, Allen and Champaign counties.
Shelby County Fair Board President Eric Garber said DeWine’s decision to close the senior fairs didn’t come as a shock to him or other members of the Shelby County Fair Board.
“We had a couple fairs call us yesterday,” said Garber of how the Shelby County Fair Board members will assist other fairs who are now dealing with the elimination of the senior fair. “We had two fairs visit us yesterday. We will be lending any support we can to help support just the junior fairs.
“It’s tough to get the schedules made and we’ll help out in any way we can,” said Garber. “I’d like to thank all our sponsors, The 4-H Foundation is the biggest one. I’d also like to send a big thanks out to the Shelby County Health Department for helping us work through this every step as well as the Shelby County Sheriff.
“We also have the Boy Scouts, Houston food booth and Adams Apple Cafe that’s also out here supporting the 4-H and FFA.”
Garber said the shows are going very well.
“The exhibitors are doing a great job and the spectators are doing really well at social distancing and all the other guidelines we have.
“The vice president and myself met with the junior fair board yesterday,” said Garber. “I think this is one of the strongest boards I’ve ever seen. They’ve had a lot to cope with and the shows are running flawlessly.”
“I know how difficult it is to prevent the spread of COVID so I can understand the governor’s decision,” said Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann. “I know from experience how disappointing it is to have events canceled and hopes dashed.”
Commissioners Tony Bornhorst and Bob Guillozet also shared their feelings about the fair.
æ I have been at the Fairgrounds the last two days, and it is different, but the youth showing Livestock are enjoying the opportunity,” said Bornhorst.”Our 4-H and FFA youth and leadership made the adjustments to meet the 4-H Motto, ‘To make the Best Better.’”
Guillozet commended the Senior Fair Board for their actions in making the 2020 fair for junior fair members only.
“The pandemic has had an impact on many if not almost everything in our lives in some way, shape, or form. In hindsight it appears as if the Senior Fair board has made the proper decision in going to the ‘Junior Fair Only’ format for this year. Sometimes the toughest decision are not the easiest decisions and I believe that they did make the decision as they felt was the best for our situation. Knowing that there are always other possible things that could have been done differently and that you will never please everyone I do think we are fortunate in that we had a successful Junior Fair and hope and pray that we can get back to a more normal fair for next year,” said Guillozet.
“The Junior Fair board and our OSU Extension Office in cooperation and in conjunction with our Senior Fair board, has done a great job in doing what they can and following all of the guidelines as set forth by The Ohio Dept. of Health and the Governor’s Office. We are thankful that our Junior Fair Activities have been successful and that everyone who has participated has been very understanding and are being respectful to all others,” he said.