DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)— It’s the opening day of the Montgomery County Fair after a year away due to the coronavirus pandemic. Miami Valley families not only cheered on the pig race but are celebrating the fair’s Grand Opening, which is a major return.
“It was the first time since World War II that we had to call off the fair,” said Montgomery County Fairgrounds Director John Friedline. “We still had a Junior Exhibit for the kids last year to showcase their projects but it was just for families and no fair guests were permitted in the gates.”
Sunday marks the fair’s first day of operating at full capacity. Fair organizers say the massive outdoor venue allows guests to still maintain distance if they choose.
“Kettering Hospital has donated hand sanitizer so every guest that comes through the gate gets a bottle to keep themselves safe throughout the day,” said Friedline. “Plus, we’re on 164 acres of ground so you’re not going to be that close to somebody.”
Past the carnival rides are members of the county’s 4H and FFA clubs, including 17-year-old Charity Moore who won the Montgomery County Fair’s 2021 Beef Queen award.
“It means alot, I can’t wait to come here every year, it’s my favorite week out of the year and I absolutely adore being here with my friends and animals,” said Moore.
Moore’s family has shown animals at the fair for generations and she believes the fair may help save the FFA and 4H programs. She says it’s important for the public to know where their food comes from.
“A lot of them here are going for meat, so you know where your beef is coming from, it’s coming from a person who’s taken very good care of them and loves them,” said Moore.
Another blue ribbon winner is in the President’s Baking Contest, first place winner Margarete Hawvermale. This is her 8th time winning and has been attending the fair since the mid 1950’s. She believes the Montgomery County Fair can help establish family values.
“It’s just fun, you see friends and others you haven’t seen for a long time, it’s a great thing for kids,” said Hawvermale. “It teaches them responsibility and if you come to the fair you’ll see the very best of animals and see kids working hard.”
Additionally, her granddaughter Lindy Helsingle won Best of Show with her caramels in the Junior Division.
If you didn’t get a chance to come out yet don’t worry, the fair extends all week through Saturday.