CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH)–The Pickaway County Fair is about half-way through its 2020 run, and so far things are running smoothly according to Fair Board president Von Cremeans.
It is one of the few fairs that chose to operate this year in the midst of a global pandemic. Organizers say they are taking every precaution.
“We decided as a board, we’re all parents of kids, we all had our animals you know to do everything we could to let them have the full fair experience because they have been shut out on everything this year,” said Cremeans.
Signs are posted everywhere reminding people to maintain social distancing of six feet while the ground is marked with tape and paint.
4-H participants have noticed the differences and they said it makes them feel safer.
One of the big differences, according to 16-year-old Siera Riddle, is people do not feel like they are shoulder to shoulder with others like normal.
There are drawbacks for competitors like Riddle. She said it feels weird not shaking a judge’s hand or really getting a chance to talk with them since social distancing makes that impossible.
Parents of competitors say they are thrilled their kids get a chance to show off a bit. Christine Melton’s daughter, Courtney, participated in the costume contest Wednesday morning. She dressed as Astrid and her miniature horse Sunny was dressed as a dragon from the film How to Train Your Dragon.
“Most of all the shows, Miniature Horse Nationals, may not happen this year,” said Melton.
Giving this opportunity does come with risk, and the Fair Board is trying to mitigate that with the signage and by following the Responsible Reopening Ohio guidelines set forth by the State.
“We followed those guidelines and that is what’s made things go smoothly,” said Cremeans. “We’ve talked about those and my board people know those guidelines in and out and if they have any questions, they get with me and we go through them.”
He talked about how, for the most part, people have been good about following the rules.
“We walk through as a board and if we see too big a crowd in one area, we’ll step in and say, ‘Hey, can we separate out here a little bit?’,” said Cremeans.
As for attendance, Cremeans suggested it has not been a blockbuster year, but added it has not been bad either.
“I feel like it’s been as successful as any other year,” said Cremeans. “It hasn’t been bigger, but it has been the same, maybe just a little bit less.”
The fair is preparing to wrap things up on Saturday. Most of the large animal competitions are out of the way and only a few small animal competitions still need to go later this week.
If you plan to attend the fair this year, the Pickaway County Health Department has requested that all attendees be asked a series of health questions at the gate.