EATON — Even though rides and games were already setting up on the Preble County Fairgrounds earlier this week, following an announcement during Gov. Mike DeWine’s Tuesday press conference limiting all fairs to “specific junior fair events,” the 170th Preble County Fair will no longer include those traditional pastimes.
The order went into effect for county and independent fairs with an opening day on or after July 31.
“We’ve seen several fairs that have been doing an excellent job to keep fair-goers safe, yet other fairs have been connected to outbreaks; some have disregarded social distancing; and we’ve also seen a lack of enforcement of the statewide mask order. It’s just a real shame,” Governor DeWine said in the announcement. “Because it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the summer of 2020, I believe we must now scale fairs back.”
Junior fair activities such as livestock competitions and 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitions for kids and teenagers may continue as planned, but junior fairs must develop a plan that reduces crowding in barns, such as limiting entrance to only the immediate family of those actively showing their animals or projects. A 10 p.m. curfew will also be instituted for the barns, buildings, and midways.
Harness racing can proceed with no spectators, but rides, games, and grandstand events will be prohibited to limit crowds and better prevent coronavirus spread.
Preble County Agricultural Society’s Fair Board met in special session late Tuesday and determined the Preble County Fair, slated to begin Saturday, Aug. 1, would be modified to be a Junior Fair only.
On Wednesday, July 29, the Fair Board issued a press release which included all pertinent information regarding activities and refunds, and the updated Jr. Fair event schedule.
The release began with a simple statement: “Masks are required according to state mandates. Please practice social distancing in all areas of the fairgrounds.”
According to the release, the Junior Fair Livestock Sale will be conducted as normal.
Those with passes or a wristband distributed by Junior Fair exhibitors will admitted to the fairgrounds. Each Junior Fair family will receive six wristbands making them eligible for entry to the grounds and entry in the viewing area at the show rings. Those wristbands must be worn all week.
The release continued:
Refunds for open class and grandstand events
“All pre-sale wristbands purchased will be refunded with cash. Must present wristband to receive refund.
“This can be done between Aug. 10-31, 2020. This can be accomplished at the Secretary’s office. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. No passes are eligible for refunds.”
Junior Fair shows
“At each show, family viewing areas will be designated at the show ring. Specific instructions will be given at each show. Families will enter the viewing area as their child enters the show ring and exit as their child exits the show ring. Due to restrictions in the number of people allowed to view the show, only those with wristbands will be allowed in the family viewing area. The number may vary at each show due to space at the show ring.
“The Showman of Showmen Contest will be held in the Horse Arena, weather permitting. In the case of inclement weather, it will be held in the Expo.
“Junior Fair mentor/peewee show: All exhibitors must have a Junior Fair member in the show ring with them to be eligible to show.
Junior fair premium show
“In Junior Fair Premium Shows, additional assistance with fitting is permitted. These will be open only to youth who are Junior Fair eligible (junior fair age) and already have a Junior Fair entry.
“Sheep, goats and rabbits that are eligible to show in the Junior Fair Premium Show must have been entered in the Preble County Junior Fair. No additional pen space will be allocated. Exhibitors entered in the Preble County Junior Fair may make day of show entries. All animals will be released according to the newly amended Junior Fair schedule.
“Hogs, beef cattle and poultry that are currently pre-registered for the Junior Fair Premium Show are eligible to show. These animals must stay at the Fair all week. Exhibitors entered in the Preble County Junior Fair may make day of show entries. Exhibitors must be eligible to show in the Preble County Junior Fair.”
According to the Fair Board, the group is attempting to have shows live streamed. The location where the shows can be watched will be released as soon as known.
Amended Junior Fair Program Schedule
Friday, July 31
10 a.m. — Noon FFA Project Check-In (FFA Building)
2-6 p.m. — Alternate FFA Project Check-In (FFA Building)
4 p.m. — Jr Fair Livestock Projects begin move-in
6 p.m. — FFA Shop & Crop in Place (FFA Building)
6-11 p.m. — Jr Fair Rabbit may arrive-Jr Fair Rabbit Scratches Taken (Rabbit Barn)
9 p.m. — All Jr Fair Non-Livestock Projects in Place
Saturday Aug. 1
5 a.m. — All Jr Fair Market Livestock in Place (except Swine)
7 a.m. — All Jr Fair Breeding Livestock in Place
7:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Market Goat followed by Market Lambs Weigh-in (Sheep barn)
7:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Premium Goat and Jr Fair Premium Sheep entries
8 a.m. — Jr Fair Market Rabbits/Market Poultry/Market Beef Weigh In
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Booth Judging (Jr Fair South Building)
9 a.m. — Dairy Show (Showmanship and Jr Fair Show) (Expo)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Premium Mule & Donkey Show (Horse Arena)
10 a.m. — Jr Fair Dog Showmanship/Obedience (Bruner Arena)
11:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Opening Ceremony (Front Gate Flagpole)
Noon — Jr Fair Mentor/Pee Wee Dairy Show (Expo)
2 p.m. — FFA Shop & Crop Judging (FFA Building)
2 p.m. — Jr Fair Horse Groom & Clean Test (Horse Arena)
3 p.m. — Jr Fair Rabbit Showmanship (Rabbit Show Arena)
3 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Market Lamb Show (Dairy Show Arena)
5 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Speed Show (Horse Arena)
Sunday Aug. 2
8 a.m. — Jr Fair Rabbit Show (Rabbit Show Arena)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Premium Horse & Pony Show (Horse Arena)
10:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Premium Showmanship Beef (Expo)
1 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Beef Show (Expo)
1 p.m. — Ohio Colts Racing – No Grandstand Admission
4 p.m. — Jr Fair Llama and Alpaca Show (Dairy Show Arena)
5 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Goat Show (Dairy Show Arena)
6 p.m. — Jr Fair Mentor/Pee Wee Beef Show (Expo)
7 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Steer Show (Expo)
Monday Aug. 3
8 a.m. — Jr Fair Goat Showmanship followed by Market Goat show (Dairy Show Arena)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Dog Rally and Agility (Rabbit Show Arena)
9:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Food Show (Toney Building)
10 a.m. — Jr Fair Horse Groom & Clean Contest followed by Dressage (Horse Arena)
10 a.m. — Jr Fair Beef Showmanship followed by Breeding & Feeder Calves (Expo)
11 a.m. — Jr Fair Poultry Showmanship (Bruner Arena)
5 p.m. — Jr Fair Market Hogs may start arriving
6:30 p.m. — Jr Fair Steer Show (Expo)
Tuesday Aug. 4
5 a.m. — All Jr Fair Hogs in place
7 a.m. — Jr Fair Hogs weigh in (Bruner Arena)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Premium Poultry Show (Poultry Barn)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Horse Showmanship (Horse Arena)
11 a.m. — Jr Fair Mentor/Pee Wee Sheep Show followed immediately by Jr Fair Sheep Showmanship followed by Jr Fair Market Show (Dairy Show Arena)
2 p.m. — Jr Fair Swine Showmanship (Bruner Arena)
6 p.m. — Jr Fair Mentor/Pee Wee Swine Show (Bruner Arena)
Wednesday, Aug. 5
8 a.m. — Jr Fair Poultry Show (Dairy Show Arena)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Horse & Pony Show (Horse Arena)
10 a.m. — Jr Fair Market Swine Show (Bruner Arena)
4 p.m. — Jr Fair Breeding, Dairy & Exotic Goat Show (Dairy Show Arena)
4-5 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Rabbit Show Entries (Rabbit Show Arena)
5:30 p.m. — Jr Fair Premium Rabbit Show (Rabbit Show Arena)
7 p.m. — Jr Fair Market Beef Carcass Show (Expo)
Thursday, Aug. 6
8 a.m. — 4-H Cook Off (Toney Building)
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Horse & Pony Show (Horse Arena)
9 a.m. — FFA & 4-H Livestock Judging Contest (Expo)
Noon — Jr Fair Premium Barrow Show (Bruner Arena)
1 p.m. — 4-H Mystery Mixer (Toney Building)
2 p.m. — Jr Fair Breeding & Preble Co Born & Raised Market Sheep Show (Dairy Show Arena)
7 p.m. — Grand Showman of Showmen (Horse Arena)
11 p.m. — Jr Fair Non-Market Livestock Released
Friday Aug. 7
7 a.m. — End of Early release for Jr Fair Non-Market Livestock
9 a.m. — Jr Fair Livestock Sale (Expo, Bruner Arena)
10 a.m. — Silent Auction – Jr Fair Baked Goods, Dairy Auction (Expo Expansion)
Noon-8 p.m. — Voting for Board of Directors (Race Office in Main Office)
Noon — All Jr Fair Market and Non-Market Livestock Released
1 p.m. — All Jr Fair Non-Livestock Projects Released
Saturday Aug. 8
9:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Clothing Judging (Toney Building)
11:30 a.m. — Jr Fair Style Review (Toney Building)
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter emowen_RH.