‘We’re moving forward:’ visitors excited about the return of Franklin County Fair

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HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH) – A summertime favorite is returning to Central Ohio in 2021. This week, the Franklin County Fair announced its welcoming back visitors for food, rides, and grandstand entertainment July 19-25.

“The opportunity for it to be a full fair, open to the public this year is just so exciting. The atmosphere just changes completely,” said Beth Boomershine, a 4H educator with OSU Extension.

In 2020, the state allowed 4H students to show their animals and projects at the fairgrounds in person, and spectators were not allowed to attend the events.

“Last year was very different, don’t get me wrong, but it was a huge relief too at that point in the pandemic,”

Boomershine explained.

“We were grateful last year, but I think we’re all super grateful and excited for this year because we’re getting that one step closer to pre-pandemic normalcy.”

The Franklin County Fair Board said it’s working closely with local and state health experts to develop and institute safety procedures.

“We’re going to have the Franklin County Fair and we’re going to do it thoughtfully,” said Tim Kauffman, the executive director of Destination Hilliard. “And I think that the safety protocols will not take away from the family fun and the tradition of a county fair.

Kauffman explained the return of a full fair is a promising sign of recovery in the local hospitality and tourism industry after a devastating year.

“I think folks are ready to get back out there and invite friends and family to do fun stuff and do it together,” he said. “I think we’re at a stage now where we’re moving forward.”

Franklin County Fair Board President Gary Fellure released a statement to NBC4 Friday:

“We are looking forward to bringing back some of our traditional Fair activities like rides, food, and grandstand entertainment. Our board is working closely with local and state authorities to craft a plan that will meet all Covid-related requirements and ensure the health and safety of fairgoers and staff. Details will be made clear on our website and other channels as we get closer to the event.”

You can read more about the daily highlights at the 2021 Franklin County Fair and check back for developing details by clicking on this link.

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