WILMINGTON — Clinton County Agricultural Society President Scot Gerber told the county commissioners Wednesday he and the fair board want to do something akin to a fair this year, in particular to provide youth an opportunity to participate with their 4-H and FFA projects.
Neighboring Warren County has cancelled everything for its annual fair except Junior Fair, reported Gerber. In brief, the Junior Fair involves judged competitions for livestock and other projects exhibited by youth.
Gerber estimated it would cost $42,000 to hold a Clinton County Junior Fair at the fairgrounds.
He also said, “We can’t put on a Junior Fair with 100 people or less [present].”
The fair board has been getting phone calls both ways — that it would be wrong to hold a fair, and that the youth should have the opportunity to show the projects they have worked on, said the Fair Board president.
Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry R. Steed said if the annual event is limited to the Junior Fair portion, the county should find a way for admission to be free.
Gerber said the Clinton County Agricultural Society has the funds to do a Junior Fair, but it could put the organization “in a crunch position.” The past couple months the Ag Society’s sources of income have dried up, such as Expo Hall rentals (aka Expo Center), overflow camping from the World Equestrian Center down the road, and renting out horse stalls on the fairgrounds, he said.
Gerber said if there is a fair of some kind, he does not expect there will be paid advertising for publicity because of the Ag Society revenue situation.
Steed expressed a desire that the decision whether to have a Clinton County Fair could be made locally. He indicated he would like to see a whole fair.
Gerber said it would be kind of weird to experience a partial fair.
The Clinton County Fair is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 through Saturday, July 18.
Statewide, there is a group trying to come up with a way or ways to safely have some form of county fairs. And earlier this month Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine suggested county fair boards start thinking about how in their county they could conduct a junior fair, which he called the essence of the summertime agricultural fairs.
The governor is from neighboring Greene County, and his family started a seed company in Yellow Springs.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.