With Ohio's COVID-19 social-gathering restrictions likely to continue into the coming months, a fifth early-season Region II event has been adversely affected.
The Marion County Fair Pull, scheduled for Thursday, July 2 in Marion, Ohio, has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled in 2020.
In its press release, the Senior Fair Board announced the complete cancellation of the six-day fair. Exhibition of Junior Fair projects has been tentatively scheduled as a series of one-day events to be held later in July.
Marion joins the spring West Salem, Sugarcreek, Paulding, and spring Wauseon, Ohio events as cancelled Region II regular-season contests.
The following is the text of the Marion County Senior Fair Board's release.
The 2020 Marion County Fair Cancelled Amid COVID-19 Concerns
MARION, OHIO, MAY 1 – In an emergency meeting, the Marion County Senior Fair Board made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming 2020 Marion County Fair, which was to be held June 29-July 4 due to COVID-19 public health concerns. However, the Marion County Senior Fair Board have decided to focus solely on local 4-H and FFA youth this year.
“The decision to not hold this year’s fair in normal capacity was not taken lightly as it impacts the livelihood of many individuals and businesses in our community as well as the fair industry. However, we believe we made the right decision at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our community,” said Keith Seckel, Marion County Senior Fair Board president. “The silver lining of this unprecedented situation is that we are invested in doing what we can to recognize the heart of the Marion County Fair—the Junior Fair Exhibitor.”
Plans are underway to provide junior fair exhibitors an opportunity to step in the show ring to show off their hard work and will be working in collaboration with the local Ohio State Extension Office to ensure all youth are able to participate. The single-day events are tentatively scheduled for July 18-25.
“By July, we are hopeful that gathering sizes will be more lenient to allow for a crowd to support our junior fair exhibitors,” said Seckel. “Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton are the only ones that can truly allow us to move forward with this alternative solution to a county fair.”
The 2020 event would have marked the 170th Marion County Fair—a longstanding community tradition.
“On behalf of the board and our staff, we appreciate our sponsors, vendors, exhibitors and community for their continued support over the years,” said Seckel. “We will be back next year, and it will be a memorable celebration.”