XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The return of the Greene County fair is highly anticipated as last year, there was only a Junior Fair with no visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The fair is scheduled for August 2 through 7 and fair organizers are expecting a crowd. The fairgrounds has the capacity to hold around 20,000 people safely
In March, Governor Mike DeWine rescinded orders restricting fairs, but the Greene County Fair will still have standard COVID safety guidelines like mask-wearing and social distancing.
“Those are things we’re going to have to still follow. We’re kind of hoping that with vaccines that are going and maybe the numbers will finally get down by August,” said Dan Bullen, a board member for the Greene County Fair. “Maybe by the first week of August… we’ll be back to normal.”
Bullen says common fair activities like harness racing, amusement rides and fair food will be a part of this year’s fair, but other activities like entertainment are being considered by fair committees now to follow capacity guidelines currently in place.
“Our grand stand only holds about 1,800 [people] so if we have to go with that 25-30% [capacity] that’s going to be tight for us to do some of the larger entertainment. Those are some of the decisions that the board has to make,” explained Bullen.
Meanwhile, local small businesses near the fairgrounds are hoping that the increase in visitors will draw more business to their shops.
“I’m going to be getting in contact with the fairgrounds and say ‘What can I do to advertise or someway to draw people directly to my shop?” said Rob Eldridge, owner and operator of Route 68 Toys and Vintage Shop.
Eldridge says he hopes that people bring their enthusiasm to local businesses, but also support the fair after being closed to the public last year.
“They have been doing events during the COVID situation….I think the Fairgrounds and the Expo center deserves a reward of people saying ‘Hey you’re open back up let’s get out there and let’s support it,'” said Eldridge.
For more information on the Greene County Fair, click here.