Digital Avenue receives fair board contract

By Shannon Bohle -

SIDNEY — Digital Avenue, an advertising and public relations firm based in Houston, Ohio, which won last year’s bid, has secured agreements with the Shelby County Ag Society (fair board) for 2022.

The cost of the fairground’s new digital advertising billboard was roughly $30,000. The board has received some donations to help with its cost.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, Digital Avenue will be paid 15% of sales until the new billboard has been paid off, and then then 25% of sales for the rest of 2022. The fee is for Digital Avenue being the graphic designer for the ads on the billboard.

To accommodate the electrical requirements of the billboard, fairground electrical upgrades have been installed and Area Energy and Electric is currently reviewing the upgrade requirements.

Digital Avenue will also receive $16,000 per year ($4,000 each quarter) to provide digital media support, to produce the 2022 Fair Book, as well as to perform promotional work for the 2022 Sponsorship Drive.

In addition to the new billboard, the fairgrounds will be undergoing changes prior to the next fair, namely, the INI project Phases 2 and 3, which will start Nov. 15, 2021, and run through April 15, 2022. The work will primarily involve the north side of the fairgrounds. Phase 4 will be completed at a later time. The Junior Fair Board is also hoping to obtain quotes to either expand or build a new Junior Fair office.

The remainder of the Wednesday, Oct. 20, meeting included the approval of September’s meeting minutes and treasurer’s report, along with October’s bills to be paid: during the month of October, $5,672. 78 was approved for disbursement to pay outstanding bills. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received a $2,000 donation this month for services provided during the 2021 fair. Payments were also issued to cover regular monthly expenditures, including natural gas and electricity (CenterPoint Energy and AES Ohio), broadband internet / telephone (NKTelco), and trash (Republic Service). Additionally, a combined total of $989.20 was issued as monthly pay which was divided evenly between Bill Clark and Eugene Schulze.

The board discussed, but did not finalize, potential entertainment for the 2022 Shelby County Fair, which will run from July 24 through July 30.

The board also discussed the Ohio Fair Managers Association (OFMA) Convention, which will be held Jan. 6, through Jan. 9, 2022, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus. The fairs of all 88 counties, along with independent fairs, will get together with vendors to discuss fair concepts. The board also agreed to pay the fees and hotel accommodation costs up to $300 for the Shelby County Fair Queen to compete at the OFMA Conference.

Finally, incoming revenue was announced. On Oct. 2, 2021, the 2nd annual Ty Austin Martin Memorial Car Show had a 48-vehicle turnout, raising $1,300 for service projects.

Scheduled for the November meeting are attendee confirmations for those attending the OFMA Convention, along with vendor reports on the electrical upgrades. The budget meeting will be held on Nov. 3, 2021, at 6 p.m., while the Area 2 meeting, which will be open to all board members, will be held on Nov. 4, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.

By Shannon Bohle