DeWine shuts down senior fairs, keeps junior fairs open

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Canfield Fair
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

Today, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered that all Ohio fairs starting July 31 and after must be limited to junior fairs only, following COVID-19 case increases and outbreaks connected to two county fairs.

These junior fairs can include both livestock and non-livestock competitions for junior fair exhibitors, he said. Senior fairs, however, must be canceled.

“The essence of county fairs is really the young people who are in 4-H, FFA,” DeWine said.

In June, the state came out with rules for county fairs for this year. Some fairs chose to cut back to junior fairs only. Others went ahead with full, modified fairs.

But, DeWine said, while some fairs have done well with following the rules, others have not enforced social distancing and other safety measures enough. He said since the mask order went into effect last week, some fairs have also not been enforcing that mandate, either. He also said there have been outbreaks linked to two county fairs in the state.

“There’s good things going on out there … yet, we’ve seen outbreaks connected with fairs,” DeWine said. 

Going forward, there will be no rides, games, grandstand events or other senior fair events at fairs. DeWine said there will also be a 10 p.m. curfew for fairs, with the exception of shows that go later than that.

“What we do at our county fairs, and what we do all summer, and everything we do is really gonna determine what happens as we move forward,” he said, adding that how the summer goes will affect how children go back to school this fall.

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Reporter Sarah Donaldson is a former 4-Her and a Mount Union graduate from Columbiana County, Ohio. She enjoys playing and writing music, cooking, and storytelling in many forms. She can be reached at 800-837-3419 or sarah@farmanddairy.com.

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